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In presenting tbis work to the numerous subscribers, it is deemed un- 
nocess&iy to expatiate on the value and utility of works of this nature. To 
all classes a well digested and £Euthfully compiled Histoiy and Topography 
of their own District must be an useful and interesting acquisition. " For a 
people to be ignorant of their own history, and the scenes and circumstances 
amid which they have sprung, is degrading in the extreme," says a recent 
writer,** and is not unfrequently productive of evil. It is only a necessary 
wisdom to be able to r^ate the early history of the locality in which Provi- 
dence has placed us; to know its peculiarities; and to have marked its 
progress.'* "The study of History, and particularly that which is Local,'' 
writes an eminent authority, " may be numbered among the most important 
pursuits of man,** 

The arrangement of the first volume of the present work embraces a 
General Review of the Early Histoiy of Great Britain, and the ancient 
kingdom of Northumbria, with much useful information of a miscellaneous 
character ; a General History and Description of the County of York, which, 
from its extent, opulence, and commercial importance, holds a distinguished 
rank among the great divisions of this kingdom ; and which, in fact, is more 
extensive and populous than many independent states, and may be considered 
an epitome of all that is interesting in England : also, a History of the vener- 
able City of York, with its glorious Minster, and numerous antiquities ; and 
of that ancient appendage to the city, the Ainsty Wapentake, including the 
town and interesting neighbourhood of Tadcaster. 

The second volume contains concise Histories, and a Topographical Sur- 
vey, of the important Town and Port of Kingston-upon-Hull ; and of all tho 
Towns, Parishes, &c., in the East Riding of Yorkshire, including Beverley, 
Bridlington, Howden, <&c., and the border towns of Malton and Selby. 


In preparing tlie work for the press, all possible care bas been taken to 
avoid the errors, and profit by the experience, of former writers; the best 
topographical authorities only have been consulted, and all irrelevant matter, 
which would have augmented the size of the work, without adding to its 
usefulness, excluded — whilst nothing was rejected which was really impor- 
tant. And, to secure authenticity, the most unremitting endeavours have 
been used ; every parish and township in the district has been visited for 
the purpose of collecting or revising the local information on the spot; and 
the discharge of this duty has been attended with much more labour and 
expense than was at first anticipated. It is, therefore, presumed that the 
work will be found as accurate as is compatible with the vast body of matter, 
and the diversity of subjects compressed within its pages. 

The Statistical matter is chiefly extracted from the Parliamentary Reports 
of Population, &c, ; and the acreage of each place is mostly taken firom the 
Parliamentaiy Return of the Census of 1851, which, though it frequently 
differs from the local estimated extent, is the surest source. 

An expression of gratitude is here most justly due to the several Clergy- 
men and Gentlemen, who have kindly aided the work by their corrections 
and valuable literary contributions ; and to the general body of the Subscri- 
bers the volumes are very respectfully dedicated. 

Beverley, November ^ 1866. 

Intrtjf I0 M, I. 

(Topographiedl Aecountt are given of the Names of Places in Italies.) 

Abbess HUda, 80 

Abbeys — See Monasteries 

Aborigines of Great Britain, 87 ; character 
and description of, 38 ; religion of, 39 

AcoMter Malbis Parish^ 645 

Aeaster Setby Township, 648 

Aeomh Parish, 649 

Agricaltaral Statistics of England, 6; So- 
cieties and Fanners' Clubs, 8 

Albion, derivation of, 38 

Alcuin, 291, 463, 634 

^dborough, the ancient Isurium, 306 

Aldby, near Stamford Bridge, 84 

Ainstj Wapentake, 643 

Aire, River, 82 

Alectas proclaimed Emperor, 59 

Alfired the Great divides the kingdom, 08 

Ancient Britons snbmit to the Bomans, 
and adopt their cnstoms, 53 

Anglo-Danish Period, 05 

Anglo-Saxon Period, 73 

Anglo-Saxon Kings — ^Alfred the Great, 08 ; 
Athelstan, 08; Edmund, 100; Edgar, 
101; Ethelred, 101; Edward the Con- 
fessor, 102; Harold, 108 

Anffram Township, 667 

Anlaffs fleet enters the Humber, 00 

Antiquities of Yorkshire, 34 

AppUUm Roebuck Township, 661 

Arbor-Low (Peak of Derby), 40 

Archdiocese of York, 870 

Area of the Wold district, 4 

Aries, Council of, 68 

Armies, mode of assembling, 135 

Ashham-Bryan Parish, 651 

Askham-Riehard Parish, 652 

Askeme Springs, 85 

Athelstan, King, establishes the kingdom ; 
bis death, 99 

Atmospherical phenomena, 274 

Augustine, St., created Archbishop of Can- 
terbury, 80 
Aurelius Ambrosius, 75 
A woman crucified by her daughter, 257 

Barbarous customs of the English, 150 

Barony, description of, 116 

Bathing places, principal, 10 

Battle Abbey, Roll of, HI 

BatUes— Near York, 75, 07, 102, ^13; at 
Coningsborough, 75; Mount Badon, 76; 
Hatfield, 86; Winmoor, 80; Bromford, 
00; Chester, 100; Fulford, 104; Stam- 
ford Bridge, 105; Senlac, commonly 
called Hastings, 108; York, 120; near 
York, 121 ; on Cuton Moor ("Battle of 
the Standard"), 124; at Falkirk, 132; 
Bannockbum, 135 ; Myton-on-Swale, 
137; Boroughbridge, 137; Byland Ab- 
bey, 140 ; Nevill's Cross, 143 ; Bramham 
Moor, 149; St. Albans, 152; Bamet 
Heath, 154; Towton Field, 156; Bamet, 
168 ; Tewkesbury, 168 ; Bosworth Field, 
171; Stoke, 174; Flodden Field, 181; 
Eineton, or Edge Hill, 234; Tadcaster, 
235; Wetherby, 236; Selby, 240; and 
Marston Moor, 244 

Bedem, derivation of, 471 

Bells, invention and use of, 418 

Bemicia, kingdom of, 76 

Beverley and Barmston Drainage, 5 

Beverley, King Charles I. at, 282 

Bible, first complete version published in 
England, 180; indiscriminate use of, 

Biekerton Township, 655 

BUbrough Parish, 653 

Bilton Parish, 654 

Bishops committed to the Tower, 229 

Bishopthorpe Parish^ 657 



Black Hamilton, 10; derivation of the 
name, 12 

Boadicea, Queen of the Jceni, 46 

BoltonPercy Parish, 659 

Boroughbridge burnt by the Scots, 136 

Boiton Spa, 688 

Bramham Parish, 682 

Bridges of stone first built in England, 364 

Bridlington Chalybeate Spring, 35 

Brigantes, the metropolis of, 42; Cortis- 
mandua their Queen, 45 ; Venusius be- 
comes their chief, 46 ; subjugation of the 
tribe, 53 

British Kings — Ambrosius, 64 ; Arthur, 64, 
76, 312; Vortigem, 73; Ochta and Abi- 
sa, 76 ; Ebraucus, the supposed founder 
of York, 289 

British Remains — tumuli, barrows, crom- 
lechs, (fee, 46 and 47; corslet of gold 
found in a barrow, 52 ; urns, 52 ; canoes, 
war chariots, (fee, 53 

Bruce, David, taken prisoner, 144 

Burgundy, Duchess of, instigates rebellion, 

Calder, River, 33 

Caledonians, 38 

Canal^ of Yorkshire, 33 

Canute's reproof to his courtiers, 313 

Capitation tax, 144 

Caracalla murders Geta, 50 

Caractacus, Chief of the SilureSf 45 

Carausius, Emperor, 59 

Cassiterides, or the Tin Islands, 37 

Castles or Fortresses, ancient, 34; at Bam- 
borough, 87; Aldby, 84; York, 90, 337; 
Tadcaster, 671 ; number of existing re- 
mains of Castles, 343 

Cathedrals burnt, 123 

CatQe, Teeswater and Holdemess, breed 
of, 16 

Cattertan Township, 675 

Caves of Yorkshire, 86 

Caxton introduces Printing, 180 

Celtic sepulchres and monuments, 47 

Centenarians in England, 18 

Chantries, how founded, 187 

Christian Festivals, origin of, 407 

Christianity introduced into Britain, 61; 
re-introduced by St. Augustine, 80, 82 

Civil government, titles, &c., 282 

Classes, distinction of, preserved by Wil- 
liam the Conqueror, 114 

Cleveland hills and vale, 18 

CUfford-cum-BosUm Toumship, 686 

Clifibrd's Tower at York, 888 

Cock, Biver, 160 

Coffee introduced into England, 361 

CoUan Toumship, 662 

Commerce of Yorkshire, 20 

Constantino the Great bom, 60, 292 ; as- 
sumes the imperial purple at York, and 
embraces Christianity, 60 

Constantius, Emx>eror, 60 

Copmanthorpe Chapelry, 663 

Copper Mines, 17 

Coronation stone and chair, 132, 146 

Corpus Christi Plays, 574 

Courts of Exchequer, &c., removed from 
York, 133; reinstated in York for six 
months, 136 ; again transferred to York, 

Cowthorpe Oak, 657 

Cranmer, Archbishop, 184 ; his death, 204 

Cromwell, Oliver, at the siege of York, 
241 ; his death, 259 ; his effigies burnt 
at York, 262 

Danes invade England, 95 ; their massacre 
on St. Brice's Day, 100 

Dance Maine, 52 

Danish Kings — Ringsidge, 98 ; Eric, 101 ; 
Sweyne, 102, 313; Canute, 102, 313; 
Harold and Hardicanute, 102 

Derwent, River, 32 

Devil's Arrows, 34, 52 

Devil's -Den (Cromlech), 52 

Dialects north and south of Humber, 80 ^ 

Diefyr, or Deira, kingdom of, 76 

Dissolution of Monasteries, 181 

Disputes about the Festivid of Easter, 90 

Domesday Book, its origin, ^c, 112 

Don, River, 33 

Drainage — Beverley and Barmston, 5 ; 
Holdemess, 5 ; Keyingham, 6 ; Hertford 
and Derwent, 6; Spalding Moor and 
Walling Fen, 6 

Drake, the historian, 639 

Dreadful executions of the nobility, 189 

Dringhotises Township, 650 

Dropping Well at Knaresborough, 35 

Druids, 39 ; their sacrifices, 40 ; their civil 
government, 41 ; they oppose the Ro- 
man invaders, 42 

Druidical Circles, 50 

Ducking or Cucking Stool, 388 

Dwarf Rose in the Field of Towton, 161 

Eastern Moorlands, 11 

East Riding of Yorkshire— situation of, 2; 
climate of, 6 ; principal towns of, 3 ; is 
famous for breeding horses, 7 ; its min- 
eral productions, 8 ; marshes and warp- 
land, 9 

Edward the Confessor names his successor, 



Egbert unites the kingdoms of the Hep- 
tarchy, 94 « 
Egfiid, King, buried at Driffield, 92 
Ely, Bishop of, heads an army, 187 
England, the Island of Saiats, 80 
England submits to the Conqueror, 122 
Ermine Street (Roman road), 70 
Esk, Riyer, 83 
Ethelred flies the kingdom, 102 

I, Ancient^ 852 
Fair Rosamond, 895 
FLto Whispering Knights, 49 
Flamborough promontory, 3 
Fleming, Nicholas, Mayor of York, 187 
Flood, great, at Bipponden, 2tf 7 
Foss, River, 88 

Fosseway (Roman road), 69, 70 
Franchise of Yorkshire, 86 
Freeburgh Hill, 12 
Free Chapels, how founded, 187 
Fridstol, or freed stool, ancient, 876, 377 

Galilee Porches in ohurches, 876 
Galtres, ancient Forest of, 83, 851 
Gasooigne, Chief Justice, refuses to pass 

sentence of death on Archbishop Scrope, 

Gayesion, Piers de, 134, 135 
General History of Yorkshire, 37 
Gent, Thomas, the historian, 640 
Geoffrey Plantagenet, Archbishop of York, 

Geo£5!ey of Monmouth, the historian, 289 
Geology of Yorkshire, 20 
Giggleswick Scar, 35 
Glass windows first introduced, 407, 440 
Glo'ster, Duke of; his conduct at the death 

of Edward V., 169 ; is made Protector, 

and crowned King, 170 
Goodmanham, Pagan Temple at, 84 
Graham's Dyke, 54 
Gregory the Great, Pope — his character, 

79; he resolves on the conversion of 

England, 80 
Qrimstcn Township, 678 
Guilds or Fraternities, 198 
Guy Fawkes, a Yorkshireman, 637 

Hadrian, Emperor, arrives in Britain, 54 ; 

resides at York, 291 
Hadrian's Great Wall, 55 
Hainault soldiery massacred, 142 
Harcdd II. crowned, 108; his death and 

burial, 109 
Harrald Hadrada invades England, 104 
Harrogate Springs, 85 
Hazlewood Hall or Castle, 676 

Healaugh Penrith, 664 

Hengist and Horsa invited to Britain, 73 

Hengist defeats the Picts and Scots, 75 

Hermit of Knaresborough, 635 

Hertford and Derwent Drainage, 6 

Hestay Towfuhip, 668 

Hide of land, description of, 116 

Hinguar and Hubba, 90 ; they destroy the 

Holdemess coast, 97 
Holdemess Drainage, 5; cattle, 7 
Holdgate, or HolgaUf Township^ 663 
Holy Isknd, 87 

Horrible brutalities of the Danes, 97 
Horse Racing, 632 

HuU, River, 31 ; change of its course, 32 
Hull, a maritime town, 138 
Hulpit and Hunpit holes, 36 
Humber, River, 28 

Hurtlepot, Ginglepot, and Donk, Caves, 36 
HiUUm-Waandeiley TowMhip, 667 

loknild Street (Roman road), 70 

Independents, the, rob the churches, 256 

Indulgences, definition of, 408 

Inhabitants of Yorkshire, their character, 

Instance of filial afiection, 236 

Insurrection of the northern CathoUcs, 

Insurrection in the East Riding, 200 

Insurrection of the old Parliamentary fac- 
tion, 262 

Ireland peopled, 38 

Isurium (Aldborough), 42 

Jack Straw and Wat Tyler's rebellion, 144 
Jenkins, Henry, 18, 260 
Jews, the number of, in England, 356 
Jones, Paul, the Anglo-American bucca- 
neer, 271 
Julius Agricola, 52 
JuUus Cffisar, invasion of, 43 

Keyingham Drainage, 6 

Kingston-upon-Hufi, port of, 20 

King, origin of the name, 83, 353 

King Arthur defeats the Saxons ; his mur- 
der, and the discovery of his remains, 

King Edwin's daughter baptized by St. 
Paulinus, 83 

King Edwin baptized by St. Paulinus, and 
his glorious reign, 85 ; his death, 86 

King Richiurd I. — his coronation, 127 ; his 
imprisonment in Austria, 129 

King John visits York, 130 

King Alexander I. of Scotland married at 
York, 180 



King Alexander II. of Scotland married at 
York. 131 

King Edward I. at York, 131 ; his death, 

King Edward II., 134 ; his murder, 141 

King Edward III. — ^his glorious reign and 
marriage, 142 

King Biohard II. — ^his accession, 144 ; de- 
position and murder, 146 

King Henry IV. — his accession, 147 ; death, 

King Henry V. visits York and Beverley, 
150; his death, 151 

King Henry VI. — ^his character, 151 ; falls 
into the hands of the Yorkists, 164; 
again made King, 167 ; confined in the 
Tower, and murdered, 169 

King Edw. IV. proclaimed, 155 ; crowned, 
162 ; again crowned, 164 ; his imprison- 
ment and escape, 167; is again pro- 
claimed King, 167 ; his death, 160 ; his 
family, 169 

King Edward V. murdered in the Tower, 

King Richard III., 170 ; slain at the battle 
of Bosworth Field, 172 

King Henry VII. — ^his coronation, mar- 
riage, &c., 172 

King Henry VIII. receives the title of De- 
fender of the Faith, 181 ; visits York- 
shire, 192 ; his death, 197 

King Edward VI.— his death, 201 

King James VI.'s accession, 211 ; his death, 

King Charles I. — ^history of his disastrous 
reign, 217; is refused admittance into 
Hull, 230 ; his person delivered up by 
the Scots, 257; is tried and executed, 

King Charles II. proclaimed, 261; his 
death, 264 

King James II. — ^his accession, 264 

Kirkhy.Wharfe ParUh, 677 

Kirk- Hammer ton Parish, 665 

Kits-Coty House, 48 

Knapton I'oumship, 651 

I^ncaster, Duke of, lands at Kavenspum, 

Levellers, the, their fanaticism, 257, 258 
Library of York Cathedral, 312 
lindisfame, Isle of, 87 ; church destroyed 

by the Danes, 93 
Lollius Urbicus, 56 
Londesborough, King Edwin's residence, 

Long Manton Parish, 666 
Long Meg and her Daughters, 49 

Long Parliament, the, 227 

Lothbric, a Danish General, legend of, 96 

Malham Core, 36 

Malo Cross, 71 

Mansions, ancient, 35 

Mark, value of, 129 

Mary, Queen of Scots, 210 

Massacre of the Jews, 126 

Maxima Csesariensis, 54 

Mechanics' Institute, Yorkshire Union of« 

Middlethorpe Township, 664 
Mile, derivation of, 55 
Mineral Springs in Yorkshire, 35, 688 
Minster, derivation of the name, 410 
Mistletoe, a sacred plant with the Druids, 

Monastic Institutions in Yorkshire, 35 
Moncuteries, suppression of, 181; annual 

revenues, 185 
FHaries— York, 491, 492, 405 
Nunneries— York, 406, 556 ; Tadcaster, 672 
Priori<?«— York, 490, 497 ; Sinningthwaite, 

654; Nun-Appleton, 661; Heaulaugh 

Park, 664 
iro«ptta/»— York, 471, 497, 498, 499, 500 
Moor Monkton Parish, 667 
Mountains in Yorkshire — Roseberry Top- 
ping, 10 ; Black Hamilton, Ac. 10, 12 ; 

Stow Brow, 11; Howardian Hills, 13; 

Pennygant, Wamside, and Ingleborough, 

Multangular Tower at York, 203, 334 

Nahum Chapelry, 667 

Nennius, the historian, 280 

Newcastle, Earl of, created a Marquis, 230 

Nice and Sardica, Councils of, 64 

Nidd, Biver, 33 

Norman Period, 107 

Northern Assize Circuit. 36 

North of England divided into Shires, Arc, 

Northallerton burnt by the Scots, 136 

North Biding — Situation and extent, 10, 
1 1 : principal towns, 10 ; climate, 13 ; 
soil, 14 ; agricultural and woodlands, 15 ; 
cattle, sheep, and horses, 16 ; minerals 
and lead mines, 17; longevity of its in- 
habitants. 18 

Northumbria, Earls of, 102 

Northumberland, Earl of, murdered. 175 

Northumbrian dynasty, extinction of, 9^ 

Northumbrian kingdom conquered by the 
Danes, 07 ; reduced to an Earldom, 101 ; 
divided into Shires, 119 

Nunneries, first instances of, 496 



OctETias crowned at York, Gl 
Onse, Jdrer, 28 ; etymology of, 290 
Oxton Toumihip, 675 

Pagan Temple profaned by Coifi, 84 

Pall, or PalUam, of the Archbishops, 388 

Paiisi, tribe of, 42 

Parliainent, first, held in York, 125 ; deri- 
Tation of the name, 125; other early 
Parliaments, 131, 138, 139, 143 

Panlinos and Golfi discnss religion, 84 

Pauperism floods the conntry, 185 

Penda, King of Mercia, 85, 89 

Pestilence, called the "Black Death," 144 

Petoaria and Portns Felix (British Towns ) , 

Phcenician Merchants visit the Tin Is- 
lands, 37 

Pickering Beck, 13 

Picts and Soots, 68 

Pilgrimage of Grace, insurrection, 189 

Pli^e, the, 146, 262 

Pope Adrian sends Legates to England, in 
A.D. 785, 93 

PoppUUm — Upper and Nether^ 669 

Population of England armed, 125, 139 

Population of several towns in the reign of 
Edward III., 144 

Ports of Yorkshire, 20 

Price of provisions in 1533, 181 

Prince Charles Stuart, the Pretender, 267 

Prince Bupert, 242 

Printing Press, the first at York, 180 

Promontories, 3 

Protestants and Catholics executed for 
heresy, 195 

Puritans, the, 207 

Quakers, origin of the name, 549 
Quarter Sessions, where held, 36 
Queen Anne's Bounty, 374 
Queen of Scotland visits York, 178 
Queen Elizabeth's accession, 205; her 

death, 211 
Queen Henrietta's letter to Charles I., 237; 

her death, 259 
Queen Margaret's adherence to her party, 

162 ; her captivity and death, 169 
Queen Mary's accession, 201; her mar- 
riage, 203 ; her death, 205 
Queen Victoria's visit to York, 280; to 
Kingston-upon-HuH, 282 

BaUways, 34 * 

Bavenspnme, Bolingbroke lands at, 146 ; 

Edward IV. debarks at, 167 
Bebellion, the, of 1745, 267 
BebeUion in Yorkshire, 175 

Reformation in Religion, 182; new liturgy 

compiled, 199 
Reform Bill, effects of, in Yorkshire, 86 
Relics found on Towton Field, 161 
Religious edifices profiemed during the 

Commonwealth, 458 
Religious Houses, 35 ; suppression of, 181 
Richmond, Earl of, lands at Idilford-Ha- 

ven, 171 
Riding, origin of the term, 114 
Rivers of Yorkshire, 27 to 93 
RoUrich Stones, 49, 52 
Roman Invasion, 43 
Roman Period, 53 
Roman Colonies, Stipendiary Towns, Latin 

Cities, 66 
Roman government of Britain, 66 
Romans, the, relinquish Britain, 68 
Roman modes of sepulture, 58, 298 
Roman sepulchral and other remains, 34 ; 

at York, 293 
Roman roads, 60, 72 
Roman Stations — Eboiacum, 54; Delgo- 

vicia, Dunus Sinus, Danum, Ac, 72; 

Derventio, 72, 83 ; Calcaria, 670 
Roman Encampments, 73 
Roman Villa at CoUingham, 690 
Roseberry Topping, 10, 1 1 
Rosedale Iron works, 17 
Ruforth ParUh, 670 

Sanctuaries abolished, 200 

Sanctuary, the privilege of, 375 

Saxons, the — their origin, manners, &c., 
73 ; invited to Britain by Vortigem, 74 ; 
their conquest of the Britons, 77 ; their 
religion, 78; tiUes of honour, 115; 
names of divisions of land, 116 

Saxon Heptarchy, 77 ; how composed, 81 ; 
extinction of, 94 

Saxon Kings—Ida, Ella or Alia, Ethelfrid, 
and Edwin, 82; Ceadwalla, Oswald, 
Adelwald, OBwy, Oswin, and Oswio, 86 ; 
Alcbfrid,90; Egfrid, 91 ; Osred, Ceonred, 
Ccel\%Tilf, 92; Mol-Edilwold, Alchred, 
Alfwold, and Ethelbred, 93; Osbald, 
Eardulf, and Egbert, 04; Osbert and 
Ella, 95 ; Egbert, 08 

Saxon Remains at York, 311 

Saxton Pariah, 680 

Scarborough besieged by the nobles, 134; 
burnt by the Scots, 136 

Scarborough burnt by the Danes, 104 

Scarborough CasUe, attempt to seize it, 203 

Scarborough Springs, 35 

ScarthingweU, 681 

Scots pass from Ireland to Scotiand, B8 

Scotland, ancient inhabitants of, 68 


Soots, their barbarous invasions, 128 

Scottish Regalia removed to England, 132 

Scottish League and CJovenant, 224 

Scotch, the, in arms against Ghas. I., 224 

Sorope*s, Archbishop, rebellion, 147; his 
execution, 148 

Sea coast, extent of, 10 

Sepulchral (called Druids') Circles, 48 

Severus, Emperor, arrives in Britain, 56 ; 
his conquests and death, 57; fUneral 
obsequies at York, 58 

Severus Hill, near York, 58 

Ship-money, tax imposed, 223 

Sieges — Portsmouth, 232; York com- 
mences, 241; ends, 251; Leeds, 236; 
Pontefract, 253; Sheffield, 254; Scar- 
borough and Skipton, 255 ; Carlisle, 268 

Simnel, Lambert, an impostor, 173 ; is pro- 
claimed King in Dublin, 174 

Sistuntii, tribe of, 42 

Siward, Earl of Northumbria, 102 

Sixth Conquering Legion, 55, 69 

Skipton burnt by the Scots, 187 

Skipbridge HamUt, 669 

Skirlaw, Bishop of Durham, 411 

Spalding Moor and Walling Fen Drainage, 

Spencer, Hugh de, favourite of Edwsrd 
in.. 138 

Spume Promontory, 8 

St Ceaddo, or Chad, Archbishop of York, 

St Edward the Confessor, 102, 103 

St Edwin (King), St Ethelburge (Queen), 

St John of Beverley, 388 

St Oswald (King), 87 

St Oswald, Archbishop of York, 802 

St Paulinus, Archbishop of York, 80, 382, 

St. Thomas of Canterbury — ridiculous 
trial of, 103 

St Wilfrid, Archbishop of York, 90, 385 

St William, Archbishop of York, 393 

Staith, origin of the name, 360 

Steeton Township, 682 

Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain, 49, 50 

Stoupe Brow, or Stow Brow, 11 

Stuarts, the last of the, 405 

Sunk Island recovered from the Humber, 

Sutton-cum-Hazlewood Tototuhipj 675 

Swale, River, 27; St Paulinus baptizes 
immense numbers in it, 28, and 80 

Sweating Sickness, 200 

Sweyn's Danish fleet enters the Humber, 

Synods held in Northumbria, (a.i>. 785) 98 

Tadcaster Tovm and ParUh, 670 
Tariff of prices at York in 1314, 185 
Tees, River, 27 

Temple of Bellona at York, 292 
Temple of Serapis at York, 295 
Theodoras, Archbishop of Britain, 91 
Thirty-nine Articles, the, published, 806 
Thornton Force and Scar, 35 
Thorp'Areh ParUky 691 
Thrave, meaning of, 165 
Thunder and rain storm, 4 
Thurston, Archbishop of York, 128 
Tides, Spring, at York and Hull, 29 
Tithings, why named, 115 
Tithes, origin of, 373 
Tockwith Township, 656 
Tonnage and Poundage levied, 221 
i Tosti's fleet enters the Humber, 104 
Tournament at York, 1 31 
Tournament between two English and two 

foreign Knights, 149 
Towton Township, 682 
Turpin, the highwayman, 513 
Tyler's, Wat, rebellion, 145 

Wade's Causeway, 71 

Wages of workmen in the 14th century, 

Wall of Antoninus, 54 

Waltheof, Earl of Northumbria, 101, 120, 

Walton Parish, 692 

Wapentake, origin of the term, 114 

Warbeck, Perkiu, an impostor, 176 ; is pro- 
claimed King, by the title of Richard 
lY., and is executed for treason, 178 

Warwick, the great Earl, his character and 
death, 168 

Wars of the Roses, 151 

War, Great Civil, cause and progress of, 217 

Wastes of Yorkshire, 20 

Waterfalls of Yorkshire, 85 

Wailing Street (Roman road), 70 

Wayland Smith's Cave, 48 

Weathercote Cave, 36 

Wesley, Rev. John, 547 

West Biding — situation and prindpsl towns 
of, 18 ; soil, minerals, and manufactures, 

WighiU Parish, 693 

Wilstrop Township, 066 

William Duke of Normandy prepares to 
invade England, 107; is sumamed the 
tlonqueror, 111 ; his harsh treatment of 
the English, 112 

Wharfe, River, 82 

Wolds of Yorkshire, 3 ; soU of, 5 ; rabbit- 
warrens and sheep-walks, 7 



UUeskelf Towfuhip, 660 
Ure or Yore, Biver, 28 

Tales— -of York, 18; of Derwent, 4; 

Cleveland, drc, 18 
Venerable Bede, 68 
Vennsina, Chief of the Brigantes, 46 
Yicioria Begia (Water Lily), 616 
Volmitii, tribe of, 42 
Yortimer defeats the Saxons, 75 

Yos^das Care, 86 


Yorkshire— situatLon and Ridings of, 1 ; 
area and population of, 2 ; Wolds of, 8 ; 
Carrs and Levels of, 5 ; agriculture of, 
6 ; wastes of, 20 ; ports of, 20 ; commerce 
and geology of, 20 ; general history of, 
37 ; how divided after the Conquest, 118 ; 
is famed for its battle fields, 218 

Yorkshire, places in, that have given title 
to Peers, or have been the capital resi- 
dences of Barons, 286 

York, Dukes of, 181 

York, Earl of, 283 

^t €iiu ai 


York becomes the Boman Station, 

Ehoracum ^ 54 

Sixth Conquering Legion arrives . . 55 

City besieged by the Britons 56 

Emperor Severus resides at York . . 58 

Hia death and funeial obsequies. .58, 292 
Caracalla murders Geta and his 

friends 50 

Caransius, a Briton, proclaimed Em- 
peror, and his murder 59 

Death of the Emperor Constantius*. 60 
Constantine the Great — arrives, as- 
Bumes the imperial purple at York, 

and embraces Christianity ...... 64 

King Arthur celebrates the first 

Christmas festival in Britain . . 64, 31 2 
York seized by the Danes, and hor- 
rible sufferings ot the inhabitants 97 
The city taken by the Norwegians. . 104 
la the rallying point of the North- 
umbers 112 

The citizens submit to William the 

Conqueror 120 

City re-taken by ^e Engli^ and 

Danes, and parUy burnt by accident 120 
Is besieged and burnt bj the Con- 
queror 121 

Is again burnt (accidentally) in 1137 128 
First English Parliament held here 

125, 319 

The atj risen to eminence ........ 126 

Great massacre of the Jews 126, 319 

Their horrid fate at York 128 

Temporal and spiritual power united 130 

King John's visit 130 

The city besieged by the Barons.... 180 


Henry JII. attends a convocation, 
and Alexander I. of Scotland is 

married here 130 

Alexander 11. of Scotland married 

here 131 

Visit of Edward 1 131 

York a maritime town 183 

Fortifications repaired by Edw. II. . 134 

Another Parliament held here .... 138 

Dreadful aftray with the Hainaulters 142 
Visits of Edward II., several Parlia- 
ments held here, the city set on 

fire by David Bruce 148 

Bichard n. confers the title of Ia^ 

Mayor 145 

Dreadful pestilence 144, 146 

Mace and Cap of Maintenance pre- 
sented to the Corporation 146 

Courts removed firom London to York 146 

Henry V. visits the city of York .... 150 

Prince Edward knighted here 171 

Visit of the Princess Margaret .... 178 
Churches of York in the time of 

Henry V 182 

Visit of Henry Vm 192 

Catholics put to death here 207 

Execution of the Earl of Northum- 
berland and others 209 

Visits of James VI 211, 216 

Visits of his Queen and children . . 215 

The Plague 215 

Horse race on the river Onse 216 

Visits of Charles 1 222, 224 

He keeps Easter here 225 

He holds a Council at the Deanery. 226 

Fixes his head-quarters here 281 




Queen Henrietta at York USQ 

Siege of York commences 241 

St. Mary's Tower 24a, 337, 479 

Surrender of the city 251 

Is dismantled of its garrison 257 

Cromwell's visit 259 

Old Jenkins at York Assizes 260 

Charles II. proclaimed, and Crom- 
well's effigy burnt at York 201, 262 

Visit of James, Duke of York 262 

Lamps first hung up here 264 

Outrages on the Catholics, \Vm. and 
Mary proclaimed, overflow of -the 

Ouse, and a great fire at York. . . . 206 

Great drought here 266 

RebeUion of 1745 268 

Visit of the Prince of Hesse 269 

Visit of the Duke of Cumberland 269, 349 

Visit of the King of Denmark 270 

Visit of the Duke of York 270, 271 

Corps of volunteers embodied 272 

Marquis of Rockingham's funeral . . 273 
Prince of Wales and Duke of York 

at York races 273 

Visit of Charles James Fox 274 

Visit of Prince William Frederick of 

Gloster and the Earl St. Vincent 275 
Mary Bateman, the "Yorkshire 

Witch" 276 

Visits of the Duke of Sussex, the 

Duchess of Kent, Princess Victoria 276 
Prince Albert, Duke of Cambridge, 

Queen Victoria, (fee, at York .... 277 

Boyal Agricultural Society's Show. . 277 

Great banquet at Guild Hall 277 

Visit of the Queen and Royal family 280 

York, Earl and Dukes of 283 

Origin of the city of York 289 

Etymology of the name 290 

Resemblance of York to Rome .... 291 

Is the seat of the Roman Emperors 292 

Temple of Bellona 292 

Roman Remains of sepulchres, tesse- 

lated pavements, altars, ware, (fee. 293 
Roman Multangular Tower, and Ro- 
man Wall 293, 834 

Temple of Serapis 295 

Roman burial place 298 

Saxon remains 311 

Churches in York at the Conquest. . 811 

Description of York in Domesday . . 314 
Houses and population of York in 

the time of Edward the Confessor 319 

Great Council of the North 320, 343 

Topography of the City of York .... 321 

Situation of the City 321 

Description of the fortifications. . . . 322 


Leland's description of York 3215 

Restoration of the Walls 324 

Circumference of the Ramparts 327 

Entrance Gates or Bars 328 

Micklegate Bar, 328 ; Bootham Bar, 
329; Monk Bar, 330; Walmgate 
Barand Barbican, 324, 330; Fisher- 
gate Bar and Postern, 331; the 

other Posterns 832, 333 

Lendal Tower 332 

Red Tower 336 

Old Baile Hill 337, 362 

York CasUe 337, 601 

Cliflford's Tower 338 

Site of the Prsetorium Palace 343 

The Manor Palace 343 

Site of Percy's Inn 346 

Old Archiepiscopal Palace 347, 460 

Lardiner HaU. Duke's HaU 347 

Mulberry, or Mulbrai, Hall 349 

The Castle Mills 349 

Names of Streets, derivation of .... 350 

Abbot of St. Mary's fair 352 

Jews numerous in York 356 

The "Railway King," former resi- 
dence of 358 

A street named after him 362 

First Coffee House in York 361 

The New Walk 863 

Suburbs and Bridges of York 364 

St. William's Chapel 365 

Ouse and Foss Bridges 866 

Scarborough Railway Bridge 367 

Mortality, Cholera 367, 868 

Sanitary measures 368 

Drainage of the Foss Islands 869 

Abolition of intramural interment. . 369 

Ecclesiastical affairs 370 

Dispute about the Primacy 871 

Income of Bishops 872 

Dean and Chapter of York 373 

Arms of the Cathedral 873 

List of the Archbishops 377 

list of the Deans 380 

Annsds of the Archbishops 381 

St. William's entry into York — ^acci- 
dent on Ouse Bridge 394 

Great feast in honor of Archbishop 

Neville's enthronization 398 

Cardinal Wolsey 899 

Anecdote of Archbishop Mountain . . 402 

The Cardinal of York 405 

The Cathedral, or Minster 406 

The edifice rebuilt 408 

Dates of the erection of its parts . . 412 

Chantries in the Minster 418 

Minster burnt by Martin. 414 




Another Are in the Minster 417 

Musical FestiTals 417 

Great bell, ** Peter of York" 418 

Description of the Minster 419 

The Ladye ChapeUe 433 

The stained glass windows 440 

I>imen8lon8 of the Minster 446 

Comparative magnitade of the Min- 
ster 445 

The monoments 446 

Chapter Hoose, description of .... 455 
Dignitaries, Ssc, of the Cathedral . . 459 

Minster Yard 460 

ComparatiTe capacity for accommo- 
dation of the largest charches in 

Europe 460 

Minster libraiy 461 

Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre .... 465 

liberty of St. Peter 467 

St. William's College 469 

The Bedem 470 

St. Leonard's Hospital 471 

St Mary's Abbey 475 

Holy Trinity Prioiy 862, 490 

Dominican Friary 491 

Franciscan Friary 492 

Augustinian Friary 493 

Carmelite Friary 495 

Benedictine Nunnery 496 

St. Andrew's Priory 497 

Hospital of St. Nicholas 497 

Hospital of St Magdalen 498 

Hospital of St Anthony 498 

St Anthony's HaU 499 

Various reUgious guilds 500 

Churchu of York 501 

All Saints' Church, North St, 503; 
AU Saints, Pavement, 506 ; church 
of St Crux, 508; of St Cuthbert, 
510; of St Dennis, 511; of St 
OUre, 513 ; of St Helen, Stone- 
gate, 515 ; of St John, 517 : of St 
Lawrence, 518; of St Margaret, 
521 ; of St Martin, Coney St, 523 ; 
of St Martin, Mioklegate, 526 ; of 
St Mary Bishophill Senior, 527; 
of St Mary Bishophill Junior, 529 ; 
of St Mary, Castlegate, 580 ; of St. 
Michaelle-Belfry, 532 ; of St Mi- 
chael, Low Ousegate, 534; of St 
Sampson, 586 ; of St Saviour, 537 : 
of the Holy Trinity, King's Sq., 
539; of the Holy Trinity, Mickle- 
gate, 540; of the Holy Trinity, 
Goodramgate, 542 ; of St Maurice, 
543; of St Paul, 544; and of St 
Thomas, 545. 


Dissenting Chapels « 546 

Catholics 550 

Catholic Church of St George .... 552 

Chapel of St Wilfrid 554 

Catholic fraternities 555 

Convent of St Mary 556 

Public Schools .'-^St. Peter's, 557; 
Holgate's, 558; Training Institu- 
tion, 559 ; Yeoman, 559 ; School of 
Design, 560; Wilberforce School 
for the Blind, 561; Blue Coat, 
562; Spinning, 563; WUson's 
Charity, 564; Bagged, 564; Dods- 
worth's, 565; Haughton's, 565; 
National Schools, 565; British, 
566; We8leyan,567; Independent, 
567; St George's Catholic, 567; 
Convent Schools, 568; Sunday 
Schools, 568. 
AlmshouBeSt or HospitdU: — ^Agar's, 
Barstow's, and St. Catherine's, 569 ; 
Colton's, Harrison's, and Hewley's, 
570; Ingram's, Mason's, and Mai- 
son IMeu, 571 ; Middleton's, Mer- 
chant Tailors', and Old Maid's, 
572; St Thomas's, 573; Thomp- 
son's and Trinity Hospital, 575; 
Watter's and Wilson's, 576; and 
Winterskelfs, 577. 

Population, &c., of York 577 

Commerce, Trade, ice 579 

Markets, Fairs, &c 581 

Corporation of York 584 

Franchise 589 

Freemen's Strays 590 

Courts of Justice 591 

Gmld HaU 592 

Mansion House 594 

The Judge's Lodgings 596 

Assembly Booms 597 

Festival Concert Boom 598 

Theatre Boyal 599 

Yorkshire Club House 600 

The De Grey Booms 601 

County Gaol (York Castle) 601 

City House of Correction 604 

Merchants' Hall 605 

Merchant Tailors' and other Halls . . 606 

York County Hospital 607 

Other Medical Institutions 608 

York Lunatic Asylum 609 

Betreat Lunatic Asylum 61 1 

Pauper Lunatic Asylum 612 

Yorkshire Philosophical Society . . 613 
The Museum and its contents .... 614 

York Institute 620 

Yorkshire Architectural Society. ... 621 




Yorkshire Naturalists' Club 621 

Yorkshire Antiquarian Club 622 

Subscription and Select libraries . . 623 

Newspapers 623 

Railways 624 

Gas and Water Works 626, 627 

PubUc Baths 627 

Banks, Barracks, Jkc 628 


York Poor Law Union 630 

Penitentiaiy and City Mission .... 690 

Model Lod^g House 631 

Cemetery 631 

Cholera Burial Ground 632 

Bacecourse ( Knavesmire) 632 

Archery Society 634 

Eminent Men connected with York 634 


Page 10, line 3 from the foot of the page, add Withemsea to the Principal Bathing 

137, line 20 from the top, read and the Bishop of Ely. 
280, first line of the note at foot, Ibr subsequent pages of this Tolumo, read in the 

Hcond volume of this history. 
239, last line of the note at foot, for subsequent pages of this volume, read see the 

history of that town in the second volume of this history, 
257, line 10, read, and they contended, Ae. 
333, „ 3, of the note, for emerged, read immerged. 
865, „ 1, for measures, read measured, 
406, fourth line of the note from the bottom, for fiist one meal, read fSast on one 

670. Since the account of Tadcaster was printed, General Wyndham has sold to 

Lord Londesborough that portion of his Yorkshire property which is 

situated in and around that town. 
687, line 24, for shapel, read chapel. 











TopoaRAPHT.^ — ^This great and noble maritime county, which derives its 
tuaae from its chief town, and which is by flar the largest, and in the number 
and wealth of its inhabitants, as well as in its natural and artificial produc- 
tions, the most considerable and important shire in the kingdom, is situated 
nearly in the centre of Great Britain. It is bounded on the N.E. and £. by 
the German Ocean; on the S. by the rivers Humber and Trent, which 
separate it from Lincolnshire, and by the counties of Nottingham, Derby, 
and Chester ; on the W. by Lancashire ; on the N.W. by Westmorland ; and 
on the N. by Durham. The general form of the county is that of an irre- 
gular quadrangle, with two projecting points at its N.W. and S.E. angles ; 
and its extreme points lie between the parallels of 58 d^. 18 min. and 64 
deg. 40 min. N. latitude, and between d deg. 40 min. W., and deg. 10 min. 
E. lon^tude of the meridian of Greenwich. The circuit of Yorkshire is 
about 460 miles ; its length from east to west is 110 miles ; and its breadth 
from north to south is 00 miles. It extends in its longest part about ISO 
miles, from Spurn Head, at the mouth of the Humber, to Lune Forest, 
where it joins Durham and Westmorland, these being its south-eastern and 
north-western extremities. 

From its great extent this fine English province was, at an early period 
of the Saxon dominion, divided into three grand districts called lUdingSt 
which, in reference to their relative positions with respect to each other, and 
to the city of York, are termed East, West, and North Ridings. The East 
Riding, the smallest of the three divisions, is subdivided into seven wapen- 
takes ; the West Riding, the largest of the three divisions, is in nine sub- 
divisions; and the North Riding has twelve wapentakes, including the 
Liberty of Whitby Strand. There is also a small district called the Ainsty 
of the dty of York, which, until 1836, was separate from either of the 



Ridings, but which in that year was annexed to the West Riding. Tork- 
shire contains about 6S0 parishes, comprising about 5000 villages and 
hamlets ; 1 archiepiscopal city (York) ; 1 episcopal city (Ripon) ; 13 corpo- 
rate towns ; 17 parliamentary boroughs ; and 59 market towns. It returns 
37 members to parliament, and is divided into 50 Poor Law Unions. It is 
in the Northern Circuit ; in the archiepiscopal province of York ; and in the 
dioceses of York and Ripon. 

Each of the three Ridings has a separate lieutenancy, magistracy, clerk of 
the peace, treasurer, and other public officers and courts ; but all of them 
are amenable to the superior courts held for the whole county at York Castle, 
which stands within the bounds of the city of York. Though the latter 
place is a county of itself, holding separate courts of gaol delivery, &c., the 
electors of the city unite with the North Riding in the election of Knights of 
the Shire, The whole of the East and North Ridings, and a great part of 
the West Riding, is chiefly dependent on agriculture ; a large portion of the 
latter division is distinguished for extensive manufactures of woollen cloth, 
worsted stuff, linen, cutlery, and other hardware. 

The area of Yorkshire, according to the latest Parliamentary Report, is 
5,983 square miles, or 3,829,S86 statute acres.i' The population of the 
county in 1851 was 1,797,995 souls; of which number 89d,749 were males, 
and 905,246 females.f 

The East Biding, which comprises the south-east part of the county, is 
situated between the parallels of 53 deg. 35 min. and 54 deg. 15 min. N. 

» The area of each divieion of Yorkshire, and density. 

in 1851. 



in 8qo«f« 







Square MDe 




HoQses to a 
Square Mile 



YoBK City 

East Riding 

North Ridimo .... 
West Riding 












f Population of each division of Yorkshire, as enumerated at each census from 1801 to 
1851 inclusive; also, increase of population per cent, in the halfcentusy. 


York City 

£abt Riding.... 
North Riding . . 
West Riding .. 






















of Population 

inSO jreais* 




ktitade, and 1 deg. 10 min. W. and deg. 10 min. £. longitude from the 
meridian of Greenwich. Its boundaries on the N. and N.W. are formed by 
the little riyer Hertford, and the Derwent, which divides it from the North 
Riding as fiir down as Stamford Bridge ; and from a mile above that place, 
by an irregular boundary line which joins the Ouse, about a nule below 
York ; from this point it is bounded on the W. and S.W. by the river Ouse, 
which separates it from the West Eiding ; on the S. by the Humber ; and 
on the £. by the North Sea or German Ocean. It is an irregular figure, 
resembling the outline of a shoulder of mutton, of which Holdemess may be 
called the shank, terminating in a narrow point at the confluence of the 
Humber with the ocean, whence the Riding extends from. 60 to 00 miles 
northward, varying in its widest parts from 30 to- 40 miles in breadth from 
east to west It contains 7 wapentakes, about 197 parishes,, and about 400 
townships, and it forms a rich agricultural district. Its principal towns are 
Hull, Beverley, Bridlington, Driffield, Hedon, Hornsea, Howden, Market 
Weighton, Pocklington, and Patrington. HuU, or Eingston-upon-HuU, is 
an ancient town and county of itself,- but attached to the East Riding in the 
election of two knights of the shire to serve in parliament Beverley, the 
capital of the Riding,, is now the only parliamentaiy borough in it — ^Hedon, 
an ancient borough, having been disfr'anchised in 1832. The coast of this 
Riding has two remarkable promontories — Flamborough Head and Spurn 
Point — and has been much wasted by the incursions of the sea during the 
present century ; but on its southern border, several thousands of acres of 
fertile land, called Sunk Island, have been recovered from the estuary of the 
Humber, by a system of warping and embanking, which was commenced in 
the reign of Charles I. 

The East Riding is far less conspicuously marked with the bolder features 
of natme than the other parts of the county. It may be distanguished into 
three districts, the WoldSf and the two level tracts, one of which lies to the 
east, and the other to the west and north of that elevated region. The 
Wolds are lof)y ranges of chalk lulls, extending frx>m th^ banks of the 
Humber, in the vicinity of Hessle, in a northerly direction, to the neigh- 
bonrhood of Malton on the Derwent, where they range eastward within a 
few miles of the course of that river, to the coast, where they form the lofty 
promontory of Flamborough Head ; and in the vicinities of the villages of 
Flamborough, Bempton, and Speeton, they rise in cliffs of from 100 to 150 
feet The ascent to the Wolds is somewhat steep, except on the eastern side, 
where they rise in gentle and successive swells, presenting a beautiful aspect 
towards the flat country. Though their height in the most elevated parts is 


supposed not to exceed 600 feet, yet many parts afford magnificent and de- 
lightful prospects. From several of the elevated points between the Humber 
and the high road from Kirk Ella, by Kiplingham, to Cave, York Minster, 
Howden Church, Flamborough Head, Bridlington Priory, Beverley Minster, 
and the churches of Hull and Hedon, may be distinctly seen; and fiom 
some of these heights the Cathedrals of York and Lincoln are at once visible. 
The eastern part of this elevated district, skirting the Humber, commands a 
splendid view of that vast estuary extending to the south-east till it is lost in 
the horizon ; and the farther distances are filled up with a view of the shores 
of Holdemess and Lincolnshire.* The western hills towards Cave afiford a 
very extensive prospect over an immense level, terminating in the high lands 
of the West Riding ; and also of the rivers Ouse and Trent, which, at their 
junction, are overlooked by the fine promontory of Aukborough. From the 
western hills a good view is obtained of the southern part of the Vale of York, 
reaching far beyond that city into the West Hiding ; and &om the northern 
edge of these hills the Vale of Derwent is seen extended below, and beyond 
it the black moors towards Whitby rise in sublime grandeur. The surfoce 
of the Wolds is, for the most part, divided into numerous extensive swells, 
by deep, narrow, winding valleys ; and the whole extent of the Wold district 
is computed at about 400,000 acres. 

The level tract along the coast, on the east of the Wolds, begins near 

* At the Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, held at 
Hull, in the month of September, 1853, Professor Stevelly read communications from 
the Bev. Thomas Banldn, on " The continuation across the ootmtry of the thunder and 
nun storm, which commenced in Herefordshire, on September 4th, and terminated on 
the Yorkshire Wolds, on September 6th, 1852 ;" and a " Notice of a terrific thunder- 
cloud on the Wolds, September 26th, 1852." This latter commenced about fire o'clock 
in the afternoon, in the N.W., with a dark nimbus cloud. Its first appearance was 
wedge-shaped, with its point towards the wind, and gradually increased in size. In a 
short time a quantity of gaseous matter issued from the base of the wedge, and its 
colour and evolutions resembled the smoke arising from the discharge of a park of 
artilleiy. The Sistant thunder occasionally growled, but no lightning was seen for a 
considerable time. By-and-bye the cloud assumed the shape of a fan, lying in a slanting 
position, with the upper part reaching about 20 degrees towards the zenith. The colour 
changed to that of a dingy brown, and the edges fringed and gilded on the broad part or 
top of the tkD.. After some flashes of sheet-lightning, the thunder roared tremendously. 
The fim shape was changed to that of a shapeless cloud. The distance seemed at first 
about six miles, but in the course of twenty minutes the rain fell in torrents; still the 
lightning was moderate. The fiBll of rain was but of short duration, though very heavy. 
T^e frightM cloud must have travelled some fifteen or sixteen miles an hour. The 
day was calm, except a very gentie motion in the atmosphere, about two o'clock, which 
veered to the N.W. in a short time. 


Filey, the noiihem limit of the East Riding. As far as Bridlington the 
face of the country is beautifully diversified with lofty swellsi but at that 
place the country sinks into a flat, which continues for eight or nine miles 
to the southward with scarcely any variation. About seven miles south of 
Bridlington the Holdemess district begins, the eastern part of which, towards 
the sea coast, is a finely varied country, in which is situated Hornsea Mere, 
the largest lake in the county ; but the western edge is a fenny tract of 
abont four miles in breadth, extending nearly twenty miles in length south- 
ward to the banks of the Humber. These fenny lands are provincially called 
Cam. The southern part of this district, bordering on the Humber, also 
fJEklls into marshes ; and in most parts of Holdemess, the views are enlivened 
by a prospect of the Yorkshire and in some places of the Lincolnshire Wolds. 
The third natural division of the East Elding extends ficom the western foot 
of the Wolds to the boundary of the North and West Ridings. This tract 
of land, which is commonly called The LeveU, is flat and uninteresting, 
though generally fertile and well interspersed with villages and hamlets ; in- 
deed it is a continuation of the level tract ab6ut and around Selby, Thome, 
and Goole, on the opposite side of the Ouse. 

The Soil on the Wolds is commonly a free and rather light loam, with 
a mixture of chalky gravel, and some parts are very shallow. The flat 
country extending between the Wolds, the Ouse, and the Humber, towards 
ihe Spurn Head, along the side of the Humber, presents a soil of a strong 
nature ; and the soil of the Levels is in most parts clayey, with an extensive 
sandy, and, in some places, moorish tract running through the middle. 
Near the banks of the Ouse and Derwent it is entirely a clayey loam. 

One of the most important agricultural improvements in the county is 
the drainage of the carrs and marshes in this division of it, together with 
those of the North Riding bordering on the course of the Derwent. The 
Beverley and Barmston Drainage, executed under the provisions of an Act of 
Pariiament passed about the year 1792, extends from Barmston on the sea 
shore, a few miles south of Bridlington, along the course of the river Hull, 
on the western side of that river, nearly to Eingston-upon-Hull, a distance of 
about 24 miles. Its northern part contains more than 2000 acres, and has 
an outfall into the sea at Barmston ; and the southern division, extending 
southward from Foston, contains upwards of 10,000 acres, and has its outlet 
into the river Hull at Wincolmlee. The Holdemess Drainage lies on the 
eastern side of the river Hull, and extends from north to south about 11 
miles, and contains 11,211 acres. In 1762 an Act was obtained for draining 
this level, much of which before that period was of small value, being usually 


covered with water for above half the year. The Keyingham Drainage , 1 jing 
between Sunk Island and the mainland, was originallj completed mider an 
Act passed in the year 1733 ; but a new Act was obtained in 180d, under 
which the course of the drainage was partly altered, and an additional tract 
of land included, making a total of 6^00 acres. The Hertford and Derwent 
Drainage, contains upwards of 10,000 acres, of which, 4,600 are in the 
East, and the remainder in the North Riding. This dnunage was com- 
pleted under the powers granted to three directors, and three commissioners, 
by an Act passed in the year 1800. Spalding Moor and WalUng Fen, a dis- 
trict lying westward of the southern part of the Wolds, were drained, allotted, 
and enclosed, under the provisions of the same Act of Parliament 

The CUmate of the East Riding varies; it being colder on the eastern 
than on the western side of the Wolds, as they break the force of the winds 
from the German Ocean. The Levels in the western part of the Riding 
enjoy a nuld climate. Near the coast the country is exposed to fogs £rom 
the sea and £rom the Humber. On the Wolds the air is sharp. 

Every kind of agricultural crop is cultivated in Yorkshire ; and the systems 
of tillage, on account of the great diversity of soils and situations, are 
extremely various ; but greater improvements have been made in agriculture, 
and it has been brought to a higher degree of perfection, and conducted on a 
more extensive scale in the East Biding, than in any other portion of the 
county. Even in the low grounds called the Carrs, adyoining to the river 
Hull, such improvements have been made by drainage, as less than a century 
ago would have been deemed impossible. Extensive tracts of land, formerly 
flooded a great part of the year, and producing scarcely anything but rushes 
and a little coarse, grass, are now covered with abundant crops of grain ; and 
the value of the soil has been increased in a tenfold proportion. The £GLrms, 
especially on the Wolds and in the southern parts of Holdemess, are gene- 
rally very large, and small farmers are rarely to be found, except in the 
Levels on the western side of the Wolds towards York.* Wheat is grown 

* AgricuUural Statistics of England. — The area of England, in statute acres, is 
825,904,29. Mc. Queen's Statistics of the British Empire, gives the quantliy of culti- 
vated land in England at 25,632,000 acres ; of these he computes that 15,379,200 acres 
were pasture and meadow land, and 10,252,800 were garden and arable. He calculates 
the average value to be 258. per acre. It is calculated that at least 1,200,000 acres of 
land in England are taken up with hedges; half of which without inconvenience might 
be dispensed with. From the last Census Report we leam what follows : — Farms occupy 
two-thirds of the land in England. The number of the farms is 225,318, the average 
size is 111 acres. Two-thirds of the farms are under that size, but there are 771 above 
1,000 acres. The large holdings abound in the south-eastern and eastern counties, the 


to a great extent on all the lower and more fertile lands ; and on the Wolds, 
where about a century ago it was almost unknown, the valleja and declivities 
of the hiUs now wave with plentiful crops of wheat ; and the farm servants 
and labourers, who fbnnerly lived on barley bread, now use good wheaten 
floor. The quantity of land annually sown with barley is nowhere remark- 
ably great, except on the Wolds, the soil of which is peculiarly adapted to its 
culture. The rabbit warrens, which, in the more uncultivated state of the 
Wolds, formed a prominent feature, have nearly all disappeared; and in 
proportion to th6 extirpation of rabbits, the breed of sheep has been im- 
proved, especially by crosses from the Leicestershire. The sheep walks are 
generally on the more elevated parts of the Wolds. The extensive level, 
extending from the foot of the Wolds to the western limits of the Riding, 
has received many great improvements by drainage, enclosure, and the 
newest modes of agriculture. The vast commons of Walling Fen and Bishop- 
soil, containing upwards of 9,000 acres, which, fifty or sixty years ago, was 
a dreary waste, full of swamps and broken grounds, and which in foggy or 
stormy weather could not be crossed without danger, are now covered with 
well-built farm houses, and intersected in various directions with good roads. 
In the rich and strong lands about Howden, large quantities of flax, and 
also of beans, are produced ; and the whole of the level land in the East 
Riding yields fine crops of com of all kinds. 

There is little grass land in this district, except on the banks of the Der- 
went above Malton, and again at Cottingham, where there are low tracts of 
marshy meadows, which produce abundant crops of coarse flaggy hay, of 
which that obtained from the last-mentioned district is of a pecuHarly 
nutritive quality. 

The East Hiding is famous for the breeding and " making up ** of horses, 
for which there is one of the most noted fairs in the world, at Howden. 
Holdemess, and some other districts, are distinguished for superior breeds of 
homed cattle, as well as sheep. Holdemess cows are remarkable for their 
large size, abundant supply of milk, and short horns. They are well 
formed, and distinctly marked, being variously blotched with large patches 
of deep red or black, or with a dun or mouse colour on a clear white ground. 
They are rarely of one uniform colour, and are never brindled or mixed. 

biiiaD fiurmB in the north. There are 2,000 Engtish fiurmen holding nearly 2,000,000 
acres; and there are 97,000 English fjumers not holding more. There are 40,650 
farmerB who employ five labonrers each ; 16,501 have ten or more, and employ together 
311,707 labonrers; 170 farmers have above 60 labourers each, and together employ 


There are several Agricultural Societies and Fanners* Clubs in Yorkshirei 
liberally supported by the landowners and fiBurmers. The Yorkshire Agricul- 
tural Society^ formed October 10th, 1837, and constituted on the model of 
the Highland Society of Scotland, may be considered the chief of them. It 
need scarcely be added that the object of these associations is the encourage- 
ment and improvement of agriculture in all its branches. There are no 
extensive woods in the East Riding. The only woods east of the Wolds are 
those at Bise and at Burton Constable ; but there are abundance of planta- 
tions, and trees in the hedge rows of old enclosures. Since the beginning 
of the present century, the fine elevation of the Wolds have been greatly 
improved by enclosures and plantations. Nearly all the fields are now en- 
compassed with quickset hedges, and different parts of the heights are 
ornamented by extensive plantations of Scotch and spruce firs, larch, beech, 
ash, &c. Several tracts have also been planted in the low country to the 
west of the Wolds. 

Chalk and limestone are the principal mineral productions of the East 
Biding ; — chalk chiefly on the Wolds, and limestone in the Yale of Derwent. 
Near the coast the chalk extends from Hessle, on the banks of the Humber, 
to Beighton, near Hunmanby. The chalk is occasionally used in building, 
and frequently for burning into lime ; and the limestone, being coarse and 
hard, is of little value either for building or burning. The springs in the 
chalk are very powerful, and many of them, breaking out through the 
gravel at the eastern foot of the Wolds, combine to form the river Hull. In 
the gravel beds resting on the chalk, very perfect remains of large animals 
have been found; and vertebrsB, 18 feet in length, and from 8 to 10 inches 
in diameter, have been exhumed ; as are fr^uently teeth, measuring from 8 
to 10 inches in circumference. "At Hull the gravel depositoiy of animal 
remains is about 90 feet from the surface, and the workmen employed in 
boring for water near the North Bridge, described their tools to have smelt 
as if they had been cutting fish, so that it is probable that not only the bones, 
but also the fleshy part of the animal remains. The coast from Spurn to 
Bridlington forms a section of all the beds above the chalk ; and as it is not 
in the line of dip, two beds are generally seen at the same time. A bed of 
dark red day commences at Eilnsea, containing rounded boulders, mixed 
with pebbles, both of which are composed of granite, gneisa, mica state, por- 
P^yry^ grauwacke, quartz, nunmtain Umestons containing organic remains, all 
the sandstones and coal shales, coal, fuUers* earth, chaOc, and flint. In this 
bed the chalk pebbles are in the greatest quantity. On the south-western 
side of Holdemess, along the edge of the chalk hills, a very extensive tract 

DiesGiuimoN OP tobeshibe. 9 

of rich land has been formed in the course of ages, called Warp Land, vbich 
oozisists of the clay and sand deposits of the Humber. The greatest breadth 
of this tract is from HuU to Hedon, a distance of six miles, and its length 
firom Hull to Lowthorpe, a distance of twenty miles. A narrow piece of 
newly-formed warp extends firom Hedon to Spurn, including Sunk Island, 
and is called the Manhes. How long this operation of land making has 
been proceeding in this quarter, hdfiian penetration and local records are 
alike incapable of determining ; but that its date is many centuries is obrious, 
as Drypool, which stands upon the present bank of the Humber, is mentioned 
in the Domesday survey, and a causeway, extending firom Beverley to the 
newly built town of Hull, at nearly its present level, existed in the time of 
Edward I. The depth of the warp at Hull is 48 feet ; beneath it is a bed 
of moorland, consisting priiicipally of peat earth, two feet in thickness. The 
warp land extends beyond Driffield, but it is there much shallower than at 
Hull, and its vridth does not exceed four miles. That this moor, now 
coTered with warp, was formerly upon the surface, is shown by the nature of 
its composition being eridently peat, which could not be formed in any other 
situation; and that it extended across the Humber into Lincolnshire, is 
proved by pieces of wood, exactly the same as those found in the moor, 
haring been washed up at Hessle after a high wind.'i' All along the eastern 
side of the Wolds, fin>m Bridlington to Beverley, and firom thence to Hessle 
by the Humber side, the sandstone, and the chalk which rests upon it, dip 
and Taniah under an extensive bed of alluvial soil, which forms the whole 
district of Holdemess. The extensive plain on the north, the west, and the 
south of the Wolds is covered with an alluvial deposit. '' It may be observed, 
as a peculiarity, that the whole of the extreme edge or margin of the Wolds, 
to the north and to the west, with one exception, continues in a regular and 
entire state along the surface, without any of those depressions which take 
place at a very Uttle distance within. It is veiy probable that the Wolds 
have been the last deposit of all the great masses of simple and homogeneous 
matter in this part of the world. There are scattered all over this elevated 
tract nodules of pyrites, of a round form, composed of iron and sulphur, which 
the country people call buUets; there are also great quantities of loose firag- 
m^ita of sandstones, which are perfectly foreign to the calcareous matter of 
which the Wolds are formed, and they have, doubtless, been brought here 
by the action of the sea, after the chalky stratum had been deposited and 
haidened, or they would have sunk into the pulp."! 

• WhUe'B Gazetteer of the East and North Bidings of Torkshire. t Ibid. 


The North Riding comprehends the whole north side of the comity, and is 
much larger and more hilly than the East Biding. It is of an irregular 
ohlong figure, from 70 to 88 miles in length from E. to W., and varying 
from 25 to 47 miles in breadth from N. to S. It lies between the parallels 
of 53 deg. 57 min., and 54 deg. 88 min. N. latitude, and between deg. 19 
min. and 2 deg. 22 min. W. longitude from Greenwich. It extends westward 
from the ocean to the confines of Westaflorland, and is bounded on the N. bj 
the river Tees, which separates it from the county of Durham ; on the N.E. 
and E. by the North Sea ; on the S.E. by the East Riding ; on the S. by 
the liver Ouse and the West Riding; and on the W. by the county of 

The Riding is divided into 12 wapentakes, and contains about 220 
parishes, and 580 townships. The principal towns are Scarborough, Whitby, 
Pickering, Malton, Yarm, -Stokesley, Guisborough, Middlesborough, Redcar, 
Eirbymoorside, Helmsley, Thirsk, Northallerton, Richmond, Bedale, Masham, 
Middleham, Leyboum, Askrigg, and Hawes. The city of York is attached 
to the North Riding in the election of two knights of the shire. The gaol, 
house of correction, and the principal courts and offices of the Riding, are 
situated at its capital — ^Northallerton ; and its six parliamentaiy boroughs 
are Malton, Richmond, Scarborough, Thirsk, Northallerton, and Whitby. 
More than 400,000 acres of this Riding are uncultivated hills, fells, and 
moors, some of which rise to the height of from 1,000 feet to more than 2,000 
feet above the level of the sea. The highest of the mountains are Roseberry 
Topping, 1,022, or according to some, 1,488 feet; Black Hamilton, 1,246 
feet; Botton Head, near Stokesley, 1,485 feet; Nine Standards, on the 
borders of Westmorland, 2,186 feet; Water Crag, 2,186 feet; and Shunner 
Fell, 2,829 feet above the sea.'C The three latter are at the west end of the 

The sea coast of the East and North Ridings is about 100 miles in extent 
from the mouth of the Hiunber to the mouth of the Tees. The principal 
harbours on the coast are Hull, Bridlington, Scarborough, and Whitby ; to 
which may be added, Filey Bay, Robin Hood's Bay, and several other creekS' 
and fishing stations. The principal Bathing Places on the coast are Scaiv 
borough, Whitby, and Redcar, in the North Riding; and Bridlington, Fil^, 
Hornsea, and Aldborough, in the East Riding. 

Mr. Tuke, who surveyed this Riding in the early part of the present 
century, estimated its contents at 1,311,187 acres ; of which about 442^565 

• Colonel Madge's Itigonometrical Surrey. 


were then, and are still, mostly uncoltiyated moors. He divided the Riding 
into six districts, as follows : — 

Cultifated UneoltlvKted 


The Coast 64,020 

Cleveland 70,444 

Vale of York, Howardian Hills, <ko 441,886 15,000 

Byedale, with the East and West Marishes 100,437 8,435 

Eastern Moorlands 102,000 106,625 

Western Moorlands 00,000 226,040 

Total 800,187 442,000 

Of the micultivated lands, about 136,625 acres in the Eastern Moorlands, 
and 76,940 acres in the Western Moorlands, are incapable of improyement 
except by planting ; but a great part of the remainder might be converted 
into arable or pasture land. 

Along the coast from Scarborough nearly to the mouth of the Tees, the 
face of the country is hillj and bold, the cliffs overhanging the beach being 
generally £rom 60 to 160 feet high, and in some places still higher, as at 
Stoupe Brow, or Stow Brow, which rises 190 feet above Bobin Hood's Bay. 
The moors in the back ground rise to an altitude of about 1,000 feet, and 
the gradual slope from the moors to the sea renders the climate cold and 

Ths EoMtem Moorlands, which bound the narrow strip of coast land 
between Scarborough and Whitby, is a wild and mountainous district, about 
80 miles in length from east to west, and 20 in breadth from north to south, 
and is intersected by several beautifrd and fertile dales, some of which are 
extensive. The most remarkable object in the topography of these wilds is 
the singular peaked mountain called Boseberry Topping, which is situated at 
the north-west angle of the Eastern Moorlands, near the village of Newton, 
about one mile to the east of the road from Guisborough to Stokesley. This 
conical mount, from its detached position and superior elevation, commands 
in all directions a land and sea prospect, at once extensive and interesting, 
and serves as a landmark to mariners. Its pinnacled summit, too, furnishes 
the inhabitants with the means of prognosticating the weather ; for when its 
top begins to be darkened with clouds, rain generally follows, sometimes ac- 
companied with thunder, as indicated in the following ancient proverb, — 

" When Roseherry Topping wears a cap. 
Let Cleveland then beware of a clap." 

The height of this mountain has been already stated, but, as has been 
shown, some of the hills in other parts of these moorlands are much higher. 


Rosebeny Topping is covered with verdure from its base nearly to its sum- 
mit, which terminates in a peak of bare gritstone rock, only a few yards in 
circuit Its base " is composed of immense strata of alum rock, above which 
is iron ore, and about half way up the hiU is a large laminated rock consisting 
of a friable and indurated ferruginous or ochrey clay, of a gritty texture, 
containing an innumerable quantity of petrified shells, and other marine sub- 
stances, most of which are bivalves, chiefly of the cockle and oyster kinds, 
and very brittle, though filled with substances as hard as the rock in which 
they are imbedded. Petrified scallop shells, and the ammonite, or snake 
stones, are found in the substrata of the rock, but they are seldom perfect. 
Jet, and pieces of petrified wood, have sometimes been found, as also have 
trochita, or thunderbolts, as they are vulgarly called. The latter are conical 
stones from two to six inches long, and less than an. inch in diameter at the 
base. A little below the summit is a spring of clear water, concerning the 
origin of which the country people have a ridiculous traditional tale of a child 
being drowned there in the lap of its nurse, who had fallen asleep in the 
hollow where the water issues from the earth. Eoseberry Topping is sup- 
posed to have been the Mars of the Saxons, as Freeburgh Hill, within three 
miles of it, is said to have been their Venus, The labour of ascending Hose- 
berry Topping is amply remunerated by the enchanting views from the rocky 
summit, in which are seen, — the beautiful Vale of Cleveland, a great part of 
the county of Durham, the river Tees and its broad estuaiy, with a large 
expanse of the German Ocean, all stretched out like a map round the 
observer ; — ^the land beautifully studded with villages, farm houses, handsome 
villas, plantations, &c., and the sea enlivened with vessels of all grades, 
whose glittering sails full bosomed to the wind, or eddying to the breeze, 
form various shades in the sunbeams, as they stand in different directions, 
and present a pleasing variety to the enraptured sight."'*' 

At the west end of the East Moorlands, about three miles west of 
Helmsley, is a lofty range of hiUs called Black or Bleak Hambleton or 
Hamilton,^ This range, which has, at a distance, the appearance of but one 
elevation, rises between the open and luxuriant Vale of De Mowbray, and 
the romantic Ryedale, and commands from its summits varied and extensive 

• White's Gazetteer of the East and North Bidings of Yorkshire. 

f The term Hamilton, or namildun, is of remote antiquity, being derived from him- 
mel, or kernel, which in the Teutonic languages signifies a covering, a semi-globe, or the 
heavens ; and thus, from their hemispherical form, or appearance, these, as well as hills 
near Kirkby-Malzeard, Tadcaster, and Kendal, had their name. The hills called 
Hamilton, near Helmsley, are the largest that bear thai name. 


proepects, in which are seen the towns of Northallerton, Thirsk, Eirby* 
moorsidey Helmsley, the Catholic College of Ampleforth, the ancient Castle 
of Gilling, and the pictoresque remains of the Abbeys of Byland and 

The northern heights of the East Moorlands are known as the Cleveland 
HiUs ; and the fine fertile tract which lies between them and the river Tees, 
is called the Vale of Cleveland. From the tenacity of its clays, or from its 
eraggy cli£b, Clevdand is supposed to derive its name. The old local dis- 
tiidi, "Cleveland in the clay bring ns two soles and carries one away," 
alludes to the cleaving of the clays to the shoes of the traveller. The ex- 
tensive Vale of York, which, according to Mr. Tuke, reached from the border 
of the Tees to the southern confines of the coimty, by Selby, Thome, and 
Doncaster, has its northern portion in this Riding. It is bounded on each 
side by the Eastern and Western Moorlands, and has a gentle slope from 
the Tees southward as fiar as York, where it sinks into a perfect flat ; not 
however before its ordinanly level surflELce is broken by several bold swells. 
A range of Highlands, called the Howardian HiUis, separates this vale from 
R^edale. The latter dale, and the East and West Marishes, form an exten- 
sive level between the Eastern Moorlands and the river Derwent. This 
levels which consists of the Vales of Eye and Derwent, extends under the 
southern margin of the Eastern Moorlands from Helmsley to Scarborough 
and Filey. The Marishes are separated from Eyedale by the Pickering 

The Western Moorlands lie to the west of the Vale of York, and extend 
westward from Richmond, Bedale, and Masham, to the borders of West- 
morland and the county of Durham. These, which are of far greater 
elevation than the East Moorlands, form part of the moimtainous range 
which terminates the West Riding, near the lofty mountains of Whemside, 
Ingleborough, and Pennigant, each rising to nearly 2,500 feet above the 
level of the sea. Though these moorlands are much higher than those at 
the east end of the Riding, they are generally more fertile than the latter ; 
and among them are some of .the richest valleys in England. There eire 
several extensive Dedes in the North Riding. Wensleydale, which is one of 
them, is watered by the serpentine stream of the Ure ; Swaledale ranks next to 
it in extent, and both of these dales axe very beautiful and romantic. Tees- 
dale is of a similar character, and like the two former ones, has several steep 
acdivities and beautiful cascades. The smaller dales are very numerous, 
and are generally very fertile. 

Tks Climate of the North Riding is various. On the coast it is cold ; in 


ihe Yale of York the air is mild and temperate, except near the moors. The 
Howardian Hills are cold ; the great altitude of the East Moorlands render 
their climate very cold, but the air of the West Moorlands is much colder, 
though the latter are more favourable to vegetation than the former, owing 
to their calcareous composition. Cleveland being exposed to the cold winds 
£rom the moorlands and the sea, has a cUmate somewhat severe. 

The Soil along the coast consists of a strong brownish clay and loam. 
The district of Cleveland has mostly a strong clayey solL; but in some 
places a clayey loam prevails, and in others a fine red sandy soil. This is 
generally a fertile and well cultivated vale. On the East Moorlands, near 
the old enclosures, are some considerable tracts of loamy and sandy soils, 
producing furze, fern, thistles, and coarse grass. The subsoil is various, and 
the basis of the whole district is freestone. The sur£ELce of some of the 
higher hills is entirely covered with lai^e masses of freestone; in other 
places are extensive morasses and peat bogs, very deep, frequently not pas- 
sable, and highly dangerous. These morasses produce ling, and occasionally 
bent and rushes. The Hamilton Hills, which form the western end of these 
wastes, are, however, very different, having generally a fine loamy solL on a 
limestone rock, which produces great quantities of coarse grass and bent, in 
some places intermixed with ling. Some of the mountains on the western 
side of the country are covered with fine sweet grass, and others with exten- 
sive tracts of bent. In the Vale of York, the level land near the Tees 
consists chiefly of a rich gravelly loam ; upon the high grounds on the west 
side of the road from Catterick to Pierce Bridge, the soil is mostly strong, 
and generally fertile, but in some places cold and springy. Fine hazel loam 
is also occasionally met with. On the east side of the road irom Greta 
Bridge to Catterick is much fine gravelly soil, with a considerable quantity of 
clay, and some peat ; and to the north of Eichmond is a mixed loamy soil, 
resting on lime or freestone ; the latter excellent for buildii^. On the east 
side of the Catterick and Pierce Bridge road is some cold thin clayey soil, 
of a ferruginous ochreous appearance, probably containing iron. About 
Barton, Melsonby, and Middleton Tyas, the soil is loamy, upon limestone ; 
but about Hanlaby, and from thence eastward to the edge of Cleveland, and 
between the Wiske and the Eastern Moorlands, as far as Burrowby and 
Thomton-le-moor, is mostly a cold clay ; though, in some places, less tena- 
cious soils, mixed with various kinds of pebbles, are met with. On the west 
side of the road between Richmond and Leeming, a good gravelly soil pre- 
vails; towards Hornby, a fine gravelly clay; and at Langthom, a fertile 
sandy loam, and some peat. The land on both sides of the brook which runs 


from Burton Constable to Bedale, <fec., is mosdy a rich loam ; but in some 
{daces intennised with cobble stones and coarse gravel. The soil between 
Catterick and Bonmghbridge, on both sides of Leeming-lane, is generally 
fertile both in tillage and pastuiBge, being mostly a rich loam, and having in 
some plaoes a mixture of gravel, and in others sand.'** The soil of the 
Howaidian Bills is mostly a good strong loam upon clay, mixed with cobble 
stones, and in some places it is light and fertQe, upon a limestone rock. The 
western end of these highlands, and from thence to Thirsk, is chiefly a dairy 
country. Ryedale and the Vale of Derwent are extremely fertile, having 
generally a hazel loam upon clay ; or a deep warp or silt soil on gravel or 
day. The Maiishes, East and West, are a low swampy tract of marsh lands. 
The soil in these marshes is chiefly clay, with some sandy loam, gravel, and 
peat. The soil of Wensleydale, near the river, is generally a rich loamy 
gravel, and on the sides of the hills, a good loam, in some places a little stiff, 
upon a substratum of limestone. The soil of Swaledale and Teesdale is 
mostly a rich loam, though clay and peat moss appear in some places in 
ascending the hills. 

Agriculture, throughout the greater part of the North Riding, has within 
the last half century advanced as rapidly as in most parts of the kingdom, 
considering the circumstances of cHmate and soil. In the Vale of York more 
than one third is in tillage, and the rest in grass. Ryedale, the Marishes, 
and the northern part of the coast have about one third in tillage; the 
southern part of the coast about one-half. About one-half of Cleveland is in 
tillage. In the dales of the Eastern Moors only about one-fifth is in tillage, 
and much less in those of the Western Moors. The lower and better part of 
the moors are mostly stinted pastures, on which cattle are kept in summer ; 
but the high moors are generally unlimited pastures. Cleveland is as re- 
markable for the culture of wheat as Ryedale is for that of oats. Barley is 
not much cultrrated in the North Riding, nor rye, except on poor and sandy 
soils ; but mssUnj or a mixture of wheat and lye, was, till a few years ago, 
veiy common ; and from it was made nearly all the household bread used in 
the district. Great quantities of rape are grown in Ryedale and other dis- 
tricts ; and mustard is grown near York, and prepared for use in that city. 
The lattrar is equal in quality to the Durham mustard. The enclosed lands 
in many parts of the dales are chiefly appropriated to meadow. 

The Woodlands of the North Riding are only estimated at about 80,000 
acres, dispersed in all dixections» the moorland and Cleveland having the 

* White's Gazetteer of the East and North Bidings of Yorkshire. 


smallest piopoition. Oak, ash, and broad-leaved or wych elm, are the spon- 
taneous produce of the woodlands. " The oak timber, though not large, is 
of excellent quality," writes White, in his Gazetteer, " being produced on 
sound and often rocky ground, its growth is slow, which renders it extremely 
hard and durable, and to the use of it the ship-builders of Whitby owe their 
wealth, and the ships their celebrily." There is a great quantity of lai^ge 
timber trees in the hedge rows in various parts of the Biding. 

This district is said to produce some of the finest and largest Catde in 
England, the breed having of late years been greatly improved. The Tees- 
water or Holdemess Breed of cattle axe considered the largest in the kingdom, 
and they fetch veiy high prices in the market. *^ They are handsome 
animals, distinctly marked with red or black blotches on a white ground ; 
their backs level ; throats clean ; necks fine ; carcase fiill and round ; quarters 
long; hips and rumps even and wide; stand rather high on their 1^; 
handle very lightly ; are light in the bone ; and have a very fine coat and 
thin hide." We may add to this graphic description, that this breed is 
short-homed, and is bred chiefly in the northern part of the Vale of York. 
In the southern part of the same vale the breeding of cattle is not so much 
attended to as in the north ; the chief object of the graziers there, being the 
dairy. Towards the western extremity of the Riding some long-homed 
cattle are met with, and also a mixed breed between the two. Ryedale, the 
Marishes, and the Howardian Hills are also celebrated for fine shortrhomed 
cattle ; and a great number of good cattle are bred on the East Moorlands 
and along the coast. 

The Tees-^cater breed of sheep, the old stock of Cleveland and the northern 
parts of the Vale of York, are large, coarse boned, and slow feeders, and 
their wool is harsh and diy, But most of this stock has been improved by 
a mixture of the Leicestershire and Northumberland breeds ; as also have 
those in Ryedale, the Marishes, and the Howardian Hills, where a cross has 
likewise been obtained firom the Lincolnshire long-woolled breed. The na- 
tive moorland sheep are small and hardy. 

Yorkshire has long been famed for its Horses, and the North Riding is 
particularly distinguished for its breed. The hme of the Yorkshire horses 
is deservedly spread, not only in this country, but also in France, Germany, 
Russia, America, &c., and dealers from those countries generally attend the 
great annual flair at Howden, and are frequently commissioned by Emperors 
and Kings to purchase horses there. The horses of the Yale of York, by the 
introduction of the racing blood, are rendered the most valuable breed for the 
saddle; and the Cleveland horses are well adapted to the coach or the 


ploagh. Other parts of the Ridmg produce excellent horses likewise, for 
the saddle and coach, and in the moorland dales is bred a hardy and useful 
description of horse, forming a medium between the Scotch galloway and the 
strong coach horse. 

The Minerals of this district of the county consist chiefly of alum, lead, 
freestone or grit, a Tery inferior kind of coal, limestone, and ironstone. 
Cleveland and the coast abound in all their hills with beds of aluminous 
strata ; and extensive works for the manu&cture of alum have been estab- 
lished near Whitby, where the art is stated to have been introduced from 
Italy in 1595. 

There are Lead Mines in Swaledale, Arkengarthdale, and the neigh- 
boouing valleys; and great quantities of ironstone are found in Bilsdale, 
Bransdale, and Rosedale, in the Eastern Moorlands, where iron seems to 
have been extensively manufiictured in ancient times.i' The huge heaps of 
slag, and the remains of ancient works, with the appearance of the hearths 
where charcoal has been burned, show that iron was anciently wrought in 
several of the dales in this district, on an extensive scale. Some ironstone 
is got on the coast near Whitby. A mine of very fine copper, near Middleton 
Tyas, was wrought for some years, about the middle of the last century, and 
veins of the same metal are supposed to lie concealed in various parts of the 
Western Moorlands. Near the bridge at Eichmond, in 1798, copper of an 
excellent quality was discovered. 

Freestone and ffrtt, of an excellent quality for building, is found in many 
parts of this Riding, especially on Gatherley Moor, near Richmond; at 
Renton, near Boroughbridge ; and in the quarries near Whitby and Scar- 
borough ; from whence are drawn the massive blocks used in the construction 
of the piers at these ports. Limestone is very abundant on the Western 
Moorlands and on the Hamilton and Howardian HiUs. Seams of coal, which 
is heavy, sulphureous, and bums entirely away to a white ashes, are wrought 
in different parts of both the Eastern and Western Moorlands, at GiUing 
Moor on the Howardian Hills, and in the Vale of York, between Easingwold 
and Thirsk. Marble of various kinds, together with a kind of flag stone used 

• An inspeximnB, dated at York the 20th of Febmary, 1328, the 2nd of Edward m., 
recites a grant made on the 16th of August, 1209, by Robert de Stuteville, of a meadow 
in Bosedale, to the nuns of that place, excepting only his forge, affords proof that iron 
was worked there early in the 18th century. — Dugdale's Monastieon, vol, i, p, 507. 

Lai^ge quantities of ironstone have been recently conveyed from Bosedale, and it ap- 
pears that there is a determination on the part of the owners of property there, that the 
rieh minenls, contained in their fertile vale, shall not any longer lay hid to the world, 
but be made to oontribate to its wealth and prosperity. 



for covering roofs, and a sort of purple slate, are also dug up in this districts 
On the surface of some of the north-western hills large blocks of light red 
granite are seen. 

Though the climate of the North Riding is vaiious, it is as favourable to 
longevity as most parts of the kingdom. The most remarkable in the list of 
departed venerables are Henry Jenkins, of Ellerton-on-Swale, who died in 
1670, aged 169 years; Mary WiMnson, of Romaldkirk, who died in 1783, 
aged 109 ; Thomas Martin, of Helmsley, who died in 1804, at the age of 
130 years ; and John Davidson (late a sergeant of the 5th regiment of foot), 
who died at Rawcliffe, November 11, 1854, aged 101 years.* The latter 
was discharged from the army in 1805, and worked at his trade of basket 
making until the last three years before his death. 

The West Biding, which for its extent, popidation, trade, and manufactures, 
is the most important division of tlie county, is bounded on the N. by the 
North Riding ; on tlie E. by the river Ousc to its junction with the Trent ; 
on the W. by the county of Lancaster ; and on the S. by the counties of 
Chester, Derby, and Nottingham. Its greatest length from E. to W. is 
about 95 miles, and its extreme breadth from N. to S. is 48 miles. It is 
situated between the parallels of 53 deg. 18 min. and 54 deg. 23 min. N. 
latitude, and deg. 43 min. and 2 deg. 40 min. W. longitude from 

The most important towns in the West Riding are Bradford, Leeds, 
Sheffield, HalifiELx, Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Bamsley, Wakefield, Rotlierham, 
Doncaster, Pontefract, Goole, Bawtry, Selby, Tadcaster, Tickhill, Wetherby, 
Knaresborough, Otley, Keightley, and the city of Ripon. 

The surface of this part of the county is diversified, and gradually varies 
from a level and marshy, to a rocky and mountainous region. The Vale of 
York, which lies along the borders of the Ouse, is a flat and marshy district, 
intersected by the rivers Ouse, Aire, and Don. The middle parts of the 
Riding contain a variety of beautiful scenery, but the country westward of 

* Centenarians. — ^At the lost census 1 11 men and 208 women have been relumed of 
ages ranging from 100 to 119 years; and to the scientific inquirer in the districts 
where these old people reside, an opportunity is afforded of investigating and setting at 
rest a problem of much greater interest than some of the curious questions that engage 
ihe attention of learned societies. Two-thirds of the centenarians are women. Several 
of them in England are natLves of parishes of Ireland or Scotland, where no efficient 
gjstem of registration exists ; few of them reside in the parishes where they were born, 
and have been known from youth ; many of the old people are paupers, and probably 
illiterate ; so that it would no doubt be difficult to obtain the documentary eridence 
which can alone be accepted as conclusive proof of such extraordinary ages. 


Sheffield, Bradford, and Otley, is ragged and mountainous. The western 
part of the district of Craren presents a confused heap of rocks and moun- 
tains ; among which Pennygant, Wharnside, and Ingleborough, are particu- 
larly conspicuous. The latter, which is one of the most majestic moimtains 
in the county, rises from a base of nearly ten miles in diameter, to an 
elevation of 2,360 feet. The scenery in the picturesque vales of the Wharfe, 
ihe Aire, and the Ribble, is beautifully diversified. In the middle district 
of this Riding the air is sharp, clear, and healthful ; in the western the 
climate is cold, tempestuous, and rainy ; and in the eastern parts, towards 
the banks of the Ouse, damps and fogs are somewhat prevalent. 

The soils of the West Riding vary from a deep strong clay or loam to the 
worst peat earth. Almost all the arable land is enclosed with hedges or 
stone walls ; the former in the eastern, the latter in the western parts. A 
great part of the Riding is exclusively kept in grass. In the arable land, a 
greater quantity of wheat is raised than of any other grain. The quantity 
of oak and ash wood is very considerable, and both meet with a ready market 
at the shipping and manufacturing towns. 

The mineral productions of the West Riding are of peculiar value, as they 
create and supply the manufactures of the district. They consist of coal, 
iron, stone, and lead. " The West Riding," writes the editor of the Parlia- 
mentary Gazetteer (1843), "yields in geological interest to no equal space in 
the kingdom. In this portion of the island, four clearly marked di\dsions 
present themselves. The Levels on the east rest on the stratum of red sand 
and clay, with gypsum or alabaster in varying quantity. The magnesian 
limestone range is one great plain rising from beneath the Levels, and ter- 
minating toward the west in a regular well-defined edge, forming the partial 
summit of drainage. In the south is the great Yorkshire and Derbyshire coal 
field, which rivals, or even supasses in importance, that of Northumberland. 
The mining district is, in some parts of the north, exceedingly variable in 
features, occupying either high or low ground, producing or not producing 
metallic ores." 

The Manufactures of the West Riding are most valuable and extensive ; 
they consist chiefly of woollen and stuff goods and cutlery. The seat of the 
former is the district including the towns of Leeds, Halifax, Huddersfield, 
Bradford, and Wakefield ; and that of the latter, Sheflfield and its ^dcinity. 
Besides broad and narrow cloth of various qualities, quantities of ladies' 
cloths and shawls are also manufactured in this district, as w^ell as camblets, 
shalloons, duroys, everlastings, shags, serges, baize, carpets, canvas, hnen, 
sacking thread, &c. The Leeds poltery enjoys a \ery considerable reputation 


both at home and abroad. Besides the manufietcture of cutlery, there are, 
besides at ShefQeld, foundries for iron, brass, and Britannia metal, and ex- 
tensive works for the refining of steel; and at the neighbouring town of 
Botherham are celebrated iron works, at which all kinds of articles in cast 
iron are produced. 

The Wastes of Yorkshire are yery extensive, and about the end of the last 
century were calculated in the whole at 849,272 acres ; but they have, since 
that period, been considerably lessened by numerous Inclosure Acts ; obtained 
both for the detached wastes, and for parts of the moorlands. 

The geographical features of the county are strongly marked, and render 
the whole province one of the most interesting in the kingdom ; parts of the 
moors in the North Riding rise 1,444 feet above the level of the sea, and 
there are many other highlands andYeaks in various parts of the district 

The chief Port of the county is Hull, which may be deemed the third in 
England ; and the ports of the smaller class are those of York, Selby, Goole, 
Thome, Bridlington, Scarborough, Middlesborough, and Whitby. 

The Commerce is of a very extensive and diversified character. The 
foreign and coasting trade is wholly centred in the above-mentioned ports, 
but more particularly in that of Hull, through which is poured an immense 
quantity of manufactured goods, coal, stone, &c., from the West Riding. 
Com is exported fix)m Hull, Bridlington, and Scarborough, to London and 
the collieries of the north ; and from the principal markets of the East and 
North Ridings, great quantities of grain are sent into the western division 
of the county. 

Geology, dc, — The county of York afifords interesting fields of study to the 
student in geology. All its strata, with slight variations, dip eastward, those 
which appear at its western extremities being of the oldest formation. The 
mineral productions of the county consist chiefly of coal, iron, lead, alum, 
and stone of various qualities. The West Riding comprises, as has just 
been observed, one of the most valuable and extensive coal fields in the 

That distinguished Professor of Geology, John Phillips, Esq., F.R.S., de- 
livered a lecture in Hull, in 1853, on the occasion of the visit to that town of 
the British Association for the Advancement of Science. The subject of the 
Professor was " Some Peculiar Phenomena in the Geology and Physical Geo- 
graphy of Yorks^re ;" and from that lecture, as we found it reported in the 
local newspapers, we have selected the following interesting extracts. After 
referring to the large portion of the residents in the county to whom York- 
shire was unknown ; and to the small number of Yorkshiremen who could be 


to have climbed our lofty moimtams — which, in his judgment, made 
this county famous among the counties of England — or who were supposed 
to know much of the mountains, and caverns, and stratified rocks; and 
having alluded to the geographical appearance of the county ; to the distri- 
bation of masses of land, and of the relative elevation of different parts of 
the district, as well as to the elevations, depressions, and stratifications of 
portions of the county, he drew the attention of his audience to waterfalls, 
and remarked that they did not find a waterfall of the slightest importance 
in the S.W. part of the county, or in the Wold country. But as soon as they 
airived at the district of the oohtes firom Whitby to Thirsk they had water- 
falls, and going further north they became abundant and most beautiful in 
character. There was Hardrow Force, with a fall of one hundred feet over 
a magnificent precipice, and they might walk underneath the edge of it, and 
only get wetted by the spray, such a distance was the water thrown over in 
a carved line. But on finding their way to a fall where the rock was of a 
basaltic nature, and of a quite different texture to the first one he had men- 
tioned, there was instantly visible a very marked difference. Such a rock 
was the precipice over which the High Force Falls rolled their waters. It 
was of limestone, and was one of the most beautiful in the country. He only 
mentioned these facts to show that to geologists this was a most important 
sabject, and deserving of their serious consideration. He would labour to 
show, in the second place, that these results were dependent on the peculiar 
geological structure of the country. He had the pleasure of coming to that 
pari of the countiy where it could not be necessary to say that water had a 
tendency to deposit sediment on level surfaces. On tlie banks of the num- 
ber they found that sediment thrown down by water, formed smooth surfaces 
and had a tendency to create what were called warps — ^which were in very 
many instances of the most fertile description. They should look at the 
atrocture of the country. He was not going to tell them how many 
thousands of these various deposits there were, composed of sand, covered 
with a subsequent deposit of lime, then a subsequent deposit of sand again, 
th^i of iron stone, and so on, for many thousands of feet, for he would tell 
them that to count them would be of very little service except to show that 
the structure of the earth was composed of regular coatings of various 
substances, and was materially different to what many people imagined. Ho 
believed that the earth showed in its distribution as much arrangement as 
was to be found among other works of nature. He should endeavour to 
show that the various strata, which were elevated and depressed, were 
caused by a great convidsive movement in tlie earth. He should be able to 


show this by various illustrations, and he was certain he should not leave 
any one present in doubt on the subject. He intended to show the character, 
in general terms, of the old bed of the sea at a certain period, very far back 
since, that a set of rocks were placed in them — ^that a movement then took 
place in the bed of the sea; and he should describe the results of that 
general movement. If they transported themselves into the western parts 
of Yorkshire, and stood between Mickle-Fell and Ingleborough — a truly 
magnificent country — ^they would find that the geological features of the 
country were clearly to be traced from the natural movement of the earth, 
of a most decisive character. Having gone to Ingleborough, the country 
showed that the basis of the whole formation began with a mass of slate 
rocks, thrown up in an angular elevation, and into grand curvatures. By 
observing the direction of the large arches of the rocks, by means of the dips 
and strikes, it was very easy to determine the precise direction in which that 
rock ran. In the instance to which he alluded, they ran from E. to S.W. ; 
the whole country had, in fact, been bent in a series of curved elevations and 
depressions, like a waved substance, just as we might bend a piece of paper. 
That was undoubtedly caused by the bed of the sea, at some ancient period, 
having imdergone a movement of some kind or other, for they found in 
examination these rocks contained the organic remains of zoophites, corals, 
shells, and traces of the lower orders of animal life. Up to the present time, 
however, neither Professor Sedgwick nor the friends who had assisted him 
had been able to trace any remains of fishes. The surface of the country 
having become elevated in places by this struggle of nature, a phenomena of 
a more recent period — one of great interest to geologists — ^had occurred, 
which had ground down the surface of the elevation and brought it to its 
original level. The question then arose as to how so extraordinary an efiect 
could have been produced by nature. The president of the British Association 
had successfully investigated the employment of mechanical force to reduce 
rocks, and would probably agree with him in doubting if there were any force 
in nature likely to produce effects of the kind to which he alluded, except it 
were by the action of the agitated waters on the coasts. Over the deposit of 
the Cambrian rocks, worn and wasted, there was a deposit of a calcareous 
character, which was no doubt at first calcareous mud, several hundred feet 
in thickness. On examining a piece of that rock with the naked eye, it 
appeared to contain fossil remains of a large character ; but when a slice of 
it was cut off and placed under the microscope, it then turned out that the 
deposit was composed of nothing else but the remains of life, accumulated 
during a former period ; and, therefore, they had the most unquestionable 


evidence that the sea has been concerned in the formation. But now let us 
paase at this point, and inquire what this remarkable formation must have. 
been. The whole sea-bed must have been widely and for a long time depressed. 
We find a series of deposits to a considerable elevation, consisting of lime- 
stone, shale, and many other sorts ; and you must still go on and add to 
them the whole thickness of the coal measures of Yorkshire, and you must 
believe that after the land which has thus been elevated and then torn away^ 
as just described, was again depressed with these subsequent deposits upon 
it, BO that several thousand feet of earth now laid upon the top of the Cambrian 
beds. WeU, now, that is the second part of the history belonging to that 
line of country. And now comes on another change. The whole of this 
formation is broken up again by a fracture not limited to Yorkshire, but 
which can be traced northward from thence to Newcastle, and by which the 
then existing strata of the surface of the earth have been carried upwards by 
pressure ; and thus we arrive at the causes of those cases of elevation and 
depression in the present arrangement, varying from an elevation of 3,000 
feet on the north, and 1,200 and 000 feet on the south side of Ingleborough, 
and in many places to even considerably greater elevations than that, but 
not exceeding 4,000 feet To explain this still Anther, suppose this is a 
mass of mountain limestone taken from half-way up the Ingleborough 
mountain, from which it has been thrown down to the south, and placed on 
that side : it is not limestone only, but millstone grit, the coal measures, and 
other portions of the former land have all been displaced, and depressed, so 
much so, that instead of being found where they are had they remained in 
their relative position to the rest of that strata, they would now have been 
found far above the summit of Ingleborough. It must once have been 1,500 
feet above where it now exists. Well, now, this is the average of the depression 
of the real mountain limestone. The most remarkable feature of the deposits 
of this era was that they showed that the period of their deposit was the 
first in which this country became dry land. At the preceding deposits 
were those of the water ; but here we had diy land, and land plants which 
had grown upon rocks in connexion with beds of coal. This was the only 
evidence upon which we could satisfactorily rest of the appearance of dry 
land. You could see the strata exhibiting it at Lord Fitzwilliam's coUiery 
at Wentworth. The period at which this formation took place was now so 
distant that it could not be measured by revolutions round the sun. And, 
now, let them look again at what happened after this event. This was 
another great system of dislocation which affected all the north of England. 
Alter the deposit of the coal measures, and again, as in the previous case. 


we bad the effects of the sea in sweeping away the land ; subsequently a 
depression takes place, and, then a marine deposit takes place upon that ; 
after that you have a set of deposits, including the peroxide of iron, and it is 
for that reason we look for a deficiency of animal life. After that a totally 
new series began ; the first of this series was the lias. He trusted many 
would with him visit the coast and see this formation for themselves. 
If they did, they would find vast numbers of curious shells, and great 
numbers of curious animals ; this was the range of the ammonites. He 
supposed that nobody could be found amongst us who would now believe the 
tales of the Whitby people, who supposed that these were serpents without 
heads, and that they could successfuUy put them on. There were IdO 
species of these most beautiful creatures, not a single living specimen of 
which was now in existence. The learned lecturer next referred to a work 
which he published in 1829, in which he recorded a remark that this coast 
abounded in iron stone, and to the fact, that two years ago some gentlemen 
from Middlesborough-upon-Tces went to a place called Eston Nabb, and not 
knowing what had been recorded for twenty years respecting the iron stone, but 
looking at the country, thought it contained iron ; they examined and found 
it ; they commenced operations, and now several blast furnaces are at work ; 
and those rocks in all the mining books of the day axe spoken of as a dis- 
covery of iron stone ; they refer to it as if it had never been known before ; 
it was, in truth, a discovery after all ; although it had been published by 
me, for the pubUcify had become totally forgotten by all practical men. He 
mentioned this, not for the childish claim of honour for the discovery, for it 
was known before he wrote it, but, continued the Professor, there was no 
British Association then. This iron stone is found in beds of 16 feet thick 
in some places, and in many cases 13 feet thick, and it is obtained with such 
ease, that it can be and is placed on the railway waggon at half a crown a ton, 
leaving a very large profit for the lord of the manor ; this was a price at 
which iron stone could not be produced in any other county of England. He 
next alluded to the series of oolite deposits. This extends from Gloucester 
and Bath to the sea coast of Yorkshire, near Whitby. Near to Bath and 
Gloucester there are several mines of this rich and beautiful freestone, of 
which so many churches and other public edifices are built. In Yorkshire^ 
this stone was found mixed with a great variety of marine shells ; but he 
most particularly wished to draw attention to certain remarkable plants, some 
of which were found in a perpendicular position, and many in an oblique 
one ; there were many of them frequently ten feet in length, and they pos- 
sessed the joints (^ marsh plants. It was only in one place that they were 


finmd erect The plants were not found in the oolite near Bath and 

Gloucester; they appear to be the produce of a marshy soil. Fossil plants 

exist in the north-east of Yorkshire, and are not very unlike the cycas and 

«f"«wi which some of us now cultivate with so much care in hothouses ; they 

are found along with many other ferns and corresponding plants, and also 

fresh water shells, if they were firesh water shells ; he dare not go so &r as 

to say so, aUhough some persons did, but he did beliere that they had lived 

m an estuary. This chain of the oolite series were remarkable for having 

its abundance of plants, for its ironstone, and fossil sheiils, and for two 

descriptions of building stone, shale, &c,f all different firom the oolite of Bath ; 

and it was worthy of consideration, that there were some series of rocks of the 

some formation, in which there was an eaiiie absence of certain fossils found 

in other rocks of the same formation ; this indicated that a portion of the 

same chain or rock had been subjected to different circumstances at one 

extremity firom those which existed at the other; and yet there were some 

saries of rocks, apparently of the same formation, in which both the fossils 

and the rocks were of a totally different order ; there were also marks in the 

ooUte rocks of Yorkshire, which showed one curious circumstance, and that 

was that there must have been land to the northward where land plants have 

been growing, and which have been drifted possibly by the action of the sea 

to the oolite rocks where they were now found. This was a curious corrobo- 

ratioa of Professor Forbes* theory, which, for explanation of the modem 

distribution of plants, required that there should at some period have been 

land somewhere between the Highlands and Scandinavia. He would now 

call their attention to the foot that the stratified crust of Yorkshire had been 

again broken up after the deposition of the oolites, and had been formed into 

great depreasions and arches like those before described — the sur£ftce had 

been worn down, and there had been another marine deposit, the chalk of 

the Wolds. It was a most pleasing geological walk to start ftom Brough, 

and trace along the edge of the Wold Hills this deposit of chalk. He must 

sow pass to the illustration of the movements which had taken place on the 

smfoce. In Holdemess, were it not for a geological deposit, the country 

would be as flat as it was thought to be by some people ; but he had some 

degree of pleasure in pointing out a place where the hill arose no less than 

150 foet above the sea. The place was called Dimlington Heights, and was 

oaaapofaed of day, inclosing a great variety of stone in large masses. There 

were also various bands of gravel which marked its gradual formation. Now 

these stones, which were there to be seen, were of a most characteristic 

description, and could be traced, beyond aU doubt, as part of that found at 


Shapfell, ill Westmorland. Similar blocks of granite were found dropped 
iu other places, all of which, it was clear, had come from the same place. 
These blocks, it was OTident, had been by some agency removed finom Shap- 
£bU« and carried eastward over a deep valley in which the river £den runs, 
had climbed next a great range of hills which they had crossed, dropping 
eome at certain places, and, being over the hills, had then began to diverge, 
and take irregular courses, going to Dartington, over the Yale of York to 
Northallerton, and to various places along the coast down iuto Holdemess. 
The course of the stones was distinctly marked, and could be traced clearly. 
The point of elevation over which they had been carried was now 1,440 feet 
above the sea — a height as high as that fiom which they had been taken — 
to reach which they had to croes a valley which was the most ancient 
geological valley in Yorkshire. This showed that the block must have been 
transported by some power different from what was ordinarily met with. A 
veiy great number of these stones were found in the neighbourhood of Ingle* 
borough, and, indeed, he had taken the pains to mark many of them on a 
part of the six-inch ordnance map. The part where they were here found 
was even higher than the place from which they came. How, then, was their 
transit to these places to be accounted for ? He was scarcely able to furnish 
a solution that appeared to him entirely satisfactoiy ; but he was disposed to 
think that the continual movement of the level of the ground, without any 
great disturbance of the crust of the earth, might be an element in the 
explanation, of considerable importance, for this might have taken place, and 
the rocks now standing have been undisturbed by any violent convulsion, 
whilst the general form of them might have been altered. Then, supposmg 
this to be the case, it was suggested that the blocks of stone had been taken 
from their original position by icebergs, which, floating about, were melted, 
and the blocks dropped. Subsequent alterations in the form of the earth's 
surface brought the blocks up, and they were again picked up by the ice 
and dropped again somewhere eLse. These were some of the methods of 
accounting for these removab, and were probably the best explanations that 
could be given of them — though he did not give them as being altogether satis- 
fJGU^toiy or complete. That all those districts had once been covered by a 
glacial ocean was clearly proved by shells of that particular character which 
Mr. James Smith, Professor Forbes, and other gentlemen, who had made 
researches into the matter, considered stamped as shells of an Arctic Sea« 
Having described the iofluence of the weather on the earth, in the wasting 
and wearing away of its surDace ; and alluded to the action of the water 
after it sunk into the earth, as exhibited in springs and caves in Yorkshire, 


the learned Professor proceeded to speak of the waterfalls. That of Hardrow 
Force, if seen, he continued, would enable every one to understand the des- 
eiiption which Ljell had given of the action going on at Niagara. There 
(at Hardrow Force) a small mountain stream fell over the rock, the base oi 
wfaleh was composed of day and shale. This was acted upon by the 
moistaie, and fell away gradually, and the result was, the cliff was under- 
mined, and the rocks above bemg jointed at pretty regular intervals, fell over, 
and thus the waterfall was removed a certain step further up the mountain. 
On examination, this course of action might be clearly traced as having 
occurred from the Biver Ure, a distance of fall a quarter of a mile, and they 
would see that the waterfisJl was certainly going back slowly but yet sensibly. 
The consideration of this and of aH matters connected with the study of 
geology would tend to show them that a regular process was going on in 
nature — pmlucing changes highly curious and interesting. These changes, 
tiiough they might not be so violent as those which were shown to have 
taken place under older geological forms, would yet prove, under considera- 
tion, that nature was consistent in her methods of producing phenomena, 
and that the effects which were produced by nature were under the control 
of a law ; that that law is guided by an intelligence which is of a kind not 
to be eappoaed mutable as our vain fancies might be ; but an intelligence 
that had presided through times which it was vain for us to think of 
measuring ; and which, as it had known no limit in the past, neither had it 
any limit in the future. 

BivEBS. — The principal rivers in Yoriuhire are the Ouse, the Swale, the 
Ure, the Wharfe, the Derwent, the Aire, the Calder, the Don, the Hull, the 
Tees, and the Esk, all of which, except the two last, pour their waters through 
the great estuaiy of the Humber. 

The Tees rises in the mountains of Cumberland and Westmorland, and 
pursues a serpentine course along the south margin of the County of Dur- 
ham, which it divides from the North Riding of Yorkshire throughout the 
whdie extent. It flows through the fine Vale of Teesdale, where it receives 
several tributary streams, and after passing Barnard Castie, Yarm, and 
Stockton, falls into the German Ocean, bdow the latter town. The Tees is 
navigaUe for vessels of 60 tons burthen up to Stockton, but the channel is 
serpentine and intricate, and the current rapid. Below Stockton the river 
expands into a large bay about three miles broad. The estuary of the Tees 
is a place of great safety for vessels in stormy weather. 

The Swale is the next in geographical position, and it has its source in the 
western extremity of the North Biding of Yorkshire, and after watering the 


romantio dale to which it gives name (Swaledale) and passing Richmond and 
Catterick, it enters the Vale of York, where it leceiyes the small river Wiake, 
and continues its course till it joins the Ure at M jton, a few miles below 
Boroughbridge. The Swale is navigable only for a very few miles. Lam- 
bard, Bede, and other early writers tell us, that Paolinus, the first Archbishop 
of York, baptised 10,000 persons in this river in one day, — '* by cause at 
that tyme theare weare no churches or oratories yet buylt** The river is 
supposed to have been called Suale ficom the Saxon word SwaUWf " by reason 
of the swift course of the same.*' 

The Ure or Yore, which is one and the same river with the Ouse, directs 
its course eastward from its source on the elevated moorland between York* 
shire and Westmorland, and below Askrigg it forms a remarkably fine 
waterfall called Aysgarth Force, The whole waters flail over a rugged lime- 
stone rock into a narrow channel, and form a succession of picturesque 
waterfiadls. After passing through Middleham, Masham, Ripon, Borough* 
bridge, and Aldborough, it joins the Swale at Myton, and the united waters 
then continue their course to about six miles bdow Boroughbridge, where 
they take the name of the Ouse, ttom an insignificant rivulet with which 
they there form a junction. 

The Ouee, or the Northern Ouse as it is sometimes called, to distinguish 
it from the river of the same name in Buckinghamshire, is'fbimed, as we 
have just shown, by the union of the Swale and Ure, and it runs southward 
receiving the waters of the Nidd, at Nun-Monkton ; thence it flows gently to 
York, where it is joined by the Foss, and afterwards bounds the East and 
West Ridings. At Nun-Appleton it is increased by the waters of the 
Wharfe ; and after passing Selby to its successive junctions with the Derwent, 
the Aire, and the Don, it falls into the Humber, at its confluence also with 
the Trent. This fine river is navigable throughout its whole course, and is 
the great drain of all Yorkshire. 

The Humber. This noble river — the Thames of the midland and northern 
counties of England — divides the East Riding of Yorkshire from Lincoln- 
shire during the whole of its course. It is formed, as we have just observed, 
by the junction of the Ouse and Trent At Bromfleet it receives the little 
river Foulness, and rolling its vast collection of waters eastward, in a stream 
enlaxiged to between two and three miles in breadth, washes the town of 
Hull, where it receives the river of the same name. Opposite to Hedon and 
Paull, which are a few miles below Hull, the Humber widens into a vast 
estuary, six or seven miles in breadth, and then directs its course past 
Great Grimsby, to the German Ocean, which it enters at Spurn Head. No 


olher river STstem collects waters from so many pomts, and cotmects so 
many important towns, as this noble stream. ''The Hnmber/* says a 
reoent writer, ^'resembling the trunk of a vast tree spreading its branches 
in eveiy direction, commands, by the numerous rivers which it receives, 
the navigation and trade of a veiy extensive and commercial part of 

The Homber is navigable up to Hull for ships of the laigest burthen; the 
Hnmber and the Quae, up to the port of Groole, for vessek drawing not more 
than 16 feet of water; and to York for those of 140 tons burthen. The 
distance from Hull to York by water is about 80 miles. Above the city of 
York the Ouse is navigable as far as Boioughbridge, a distance of 20 miles, 
for barges of 80 tons. The whole course of the Ure, Ouse, and Humber, is 
about 160 miles. 

The tpring tide$ rise at Hull more than twenty feet, and at York from two 
to two and a half feet, but they formerly rose at that place four feet In 
1648, it is recorded that a ^ring tide at Ouse bridge rose to the height of 
five feet Some of the " land floods " have risen here to a veiy great height 
In 173d, the Ouse at York rose in one night nearly nine feet, and filled the 
streets in the lower parts of the city; and in December, 1768, the water rose 
at the same place twenty inches higher, and was seventy-five feet above the 
low water vuA of dry seasons. 

Of the river Humber — ^the Ahu$ of Ptolemy — ^that quaint old author, 
Lambard, writes thus : — " Humber is not the name of any one water within 
Ingbnde, bat is a name that is gyven to the metinge of many waters, and 
therfere Ldande contendeth reasonablye that it should be called Aber, which 
in the Bryttishe is the same that the Saxons and we nowe calle the mouthe 
of a lyver; for it hathe not the name of Humber till it approche neare 
Kingston-on-Hull, before which tyme it hathe receyved Ouse, Ure, Done, 
Trent, Hull water, and some other smal brokes, and so openeth into the sea ; 
and theribre Humber hathe not as a lyver of itselfe anye begginninge, (as 
Polydor and others describe) but may wel inoughe be said to begynne wi^e 
the head of any of those lyvers which it reoeyveth. It should seme that 
Ptolemy ment this lyver when he speaketh of Abus, so callinge the same 
that ihe Biyttons called Aber. Gefifrey of Monmouthe, the leader of our 
Inglishe ChroniclerB, sayeth that it was called Humber by occasion that 
Locrine, the ddest son of Brutus, chased Humber, the Kinge of the Hunnes 
(that anyved in his country) into this water, wheare he was drowned. 

Dam Aigit obstat ei flnmen, submergitnr illie, 
Deque sue tribait nomixie nomen aquK. 


After that ihe Saxons weare coma in great nomber into this ile, they M at 
variance among themselves, in so much that Ethelbert, Kinge of Kent, (which 
receyved Augustine) warringe upon the rest, enlarged his dominion to this 
water; herof b^an the people beyonde the same to be called Northumbera, 
and their Kingdome Northumberland. This ryver, and the Thamis, (as 
Polydor observeth) do not so comonly overfiowe their banks, as other waters 
within the realme, which he imputeth probablye to the qualitie of the ground 
undemeathe, which being gravel soketh muche ; but the cause of the groweth 
no lesse, by reason that theise twoe waters be not neighboured with so many 
hilles, as Severn and others be, from which eveiy sodeine rayne descendinge 
into the ryvers, causeth theim to swell sodenlye also.'* 

And here we make a slight digression for the purpose of glancing at a 
subject which may not be considered altogether irrelevant, viz : — ** The Dia* 
lects North and South of the Humber compared. " At the meeting of the 
British Association held in Hull in 1853, Charles Beckett, £sq., M.RXD.S., 
read an interesting paper on this subject. He commenced by observing that 
the boundaries of English counties were various, and often aibitraiy — the 
most natural being riven. The river Humber, from its widtii and length, 
had always formed a most distinct boundary, not only between two different 
counties, but also between two classes of peasantry, differing much in many 
respects — in origin, physiognomy, manners, conformation, and also in dialect. 
Large eiddences exist of Danish origin in the names of towns and villages in 
both counties ; no less than 313 places terminating in 6y in Lincolnshire ; 
whilst in the North and East Riding of Yorkshire 185 of the same were found. 
This termination always pointed out a Danish origin. Several other Danish 
names of places, persons, and other things, were also found to exist. The 
distinction between the peasantry north and south of the Humber could not 
escape the attentive observer. The Lincolnshire peasant was somewhat 
more phlegmatic, his physiognomy less marked and acute, and the £ace more 
oval in form than the Yorkshire one. His maimer is more amicable and 
polite, but less decisive and acute. This harmonizes not only with his own 
appearance, but, singularly, also with the general mildness of the aspect of 
the landscape arotmd him. These inquiries were the more interesting, 
because the progress of civilization increased travelling facilities, and the 
lapse of time tends rapidly to eSajce these ethnological distinctions. The 
successive irruptions of the Boman, Saxon, Danish, and Norman people into 
this country were analogous to the warping of low land by successive tides ; 
the existing language being a rich alluvium left by them all. Yorkshire had 
probably several dialects; Lincolnshire two, according to HalliweU — the 


iiorlih and the south. Both agreed in the broad ptonunciations of many 
sjUableSy as» for instance, changing one into two ; as sea, se-ah ; seat, se-at ; 
beast, bee-ast Both use many archaic words— each county, howerer, having 
its own. The intonations and inflexions of the voice vaiy also in the two 
ooanties. But the chief difference lay in the relative value of the two Towels 
i and o being rendered ei in Yorkshire, and double or long % in Lincolnshire, 
as' wife, weife, wiife; life, leife, liife, respectively. These apparently trivial 
difierences were in fact sufficient to change the whole character of the 
Temacular speech. The o, also, had similar varieties ; thus in Yorkshire we 
have now, noo ; and thou, thoo. In Lincolnshire these would be thaou, naau. 
Some other characteristics were also mentioned. On the whole, the Lincoln- 
ahixe dialect was more soft and agreeable, contained fewer obsolete words 
and accents, and approached more nearly to pure speech. The paper closed 
by enquiring how far climate and the social history and progress of the 
two counties might have operated along with some differences of origin, in 
h^ing to these interesting and probably transient ethnological distinctions. 

At ^e same meeting. Sir Charles Anderson, Bart, read a paper on " The 
influence of the invasion of the Danes and Scandinavians, in early times, on 
certain localities in £ngland." The talented lecturer said, that having lately 
visited Denmark and the northern parts of Europe, he had been much struck 
with the similarity pervading the Danish and English languages. This 
siniilaritj he ascribed to the influence which the Danes possessed when they 
made a conquest of this island, and planted themselves as settlers in it, and 
he gave sevenl examples in support of his assertion, which fully identified 
the two languages. 

The river HuU rises in the Eastern Wolds, near Driffield, and pursues a 
southern course to the eastward of the town of Beverley, with which it is 
united by a canal; and it flails into the Humber at Kingston-upon-Hull, 
where it forms a secure but contracted haven. This river serves to drain 
the whole country between the Wolds and the sea ; and historians tell us 
that the portion of this river between the Humber and " Sculcotes goto " was 
originally cut by Sayer de Sutton, to drain the marshes within his lordship 
of Sutton. In a charter of Richard 11, this part of the river is said to have 
pieviottsly been named Sayer Creek. Mr. Frost thinks that the drain called 
Sayer Creek was cut by Sayer de Sutton so early as the reign of King John. 
The river Hull is navigable to Frodingham Bridge, several miles above 
Beveriey; and thence to Great Driffield by means of a canal. Another 
canal extends eastward from the river Hull to Leven, a length of about 
three miles. 


AU the local historians, except Mr. Frost, assert that the river Hull in 
former times discharged itself into the Hamber to the eastward of the present 
river; but that gentleman found abundant evidence in the registers and 
histories of the Abbey of Meaux» to show that its ancient coarse lay to the 
westward of the present channel ; and he thinks that the frequent notice of 
Old Hull as one of the boundaries of lands without the walls to the westward 
of the town, would of itself be amply sufficient to establish the fiu^t, without 
the corroborative proof afforded by the registries of Meaux, which are con- 
clusive on the subject.* That veiy diligent author informs us, that in the 
Book of Meux, the ancient river is described as having divided the wapen- 
takes of Holdemess and HarthiU, and that New Hull, which had formeriy 
been called Sayer Creek, and had become a great river, in consequence of 
the channel of Old Hull having warped up, was afterwards the dividing 
boundary of the districts of Holdemess and Harthill ; and that a part of the 
village of Wyke or Hull, which had previously been within the limits of 
Holdemess, being then separated by the river, became a member of the 
wapentake of Harthill. 

The Wharf € rises at the foot of the Craven Hills, winds its course through 
the district of Wharfdale, and passing Tadcaster, joins the Ouse at Nun- 
Appleton. It is navigable as fiEur as Tadcaster. 

The Derwent has its head in the Eastern Moorlands, in the North Biding, 
within about four miles of the sea. After running in a line almost parallel 
with the coast to the foot of the Wdds, it takes a westerly direction till it 
receives the Bye, from Helmsley ; thence by Malton, Gkite-Helmsley, and 
Stamford Bridge, to the Ouse, near Barmby, from which it is navigable for 
vessels of twenty-five tons burthen, to Malton, and above which town the 
navigation has been continued to Yedingham Bridge, a further distance of 
about nine miles. From its junction with the small river Hertford, near 
its source, the Derwent divides the North and East Bidings till it approaches 
near Stamford Bridge, where it enters the East Biding. 

The Avre, one of the most considerable rivers in Yorkshire, takes its rise 
in some wild moors near Malham, in the north west quarter of the West 
Biding, and runs past Skipton and Bingley to Leeds. Twelve miles below 
the latter town, near Castleford, it receives the Calder, and passing Snaidi, 
it joins the Ouse three miles south west of Howden, a little below Armin. 
The Aire becomes navigable at Leeds, where it forms a junction with the 
Leeds and Liverpool canaL Camden says, the course of the Aire is so 

• EVott's HisUnio Notices of Kingston-iipQn.Hull, p. 38, 83. 


ielj crooked, that be crossed it seven times in travelling half an hour 
in a straight line. 

The Colder rises on the eastern border of Lancashire, not tax from 
BxmoleT, and porsaes an eastward course through Todmorden valley, to 
Wakefield ; it then turns to the north till it joins the Aire, at Castleford. 
lia 1758, an Act was passed for extending the navigation of the Calder to 
Sowerby bridge, in the parish of Halifex, and for making the Hobble 
nsvigable from Brooksmouth to Salterhebble bridge. In 1825, an Act was 
passed for making a cat from this canal at Salterhebble, to Bailej Hall near 
Hali&x. This river is connected with various canals, which form a water 
cotniminicatkm across the kingdom from Hull to Liverpool, as well as a 
junction between the eastern and western seas. 

The D(m has its source in the western moors beyond Peimiston, and flows 
by Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster, and Bawcliffe bridge, to Goole, where 
it &119 into the Ouse. In its course it is joined by the Hodbeck, the Wente, 
the Bother, and other tributaries, and by several canals. The lower part of 
the channel of the Don, from the vicinity of Snaith, is artificial, and is 
QsaaDy called the Dutch river. In 1751 this river was made navigable to 
Tinsley, three miles below Sheffield ; and by an Act of Parliament passed in 
1815, this navigation has been continued by a cut, called the Tinsley canal, 
to Sheffield. 

The Esk has many sources in the centre of the Eastern Moorland dales, 
and flowing eastward, receives various streams, imtQ it falls into the North 
Sea at Whitby, dividing that town into two nearly equal parts, which are 
connected by a draw-bridge. On the 17th July, 1761, the spring tides rose 
and fell here four times in less than half an hour. 

The Fobs rises near Cndke Castle, and joins the Ouse at York. The 
ebannel of this river is believed to have been originally formed by the Ko- 
mans, to effect the drainage of an extensive level tract lying between the 
Ouse and the Howardian Hills, near the western extremity of which it has 
its source. Leland, in enumerating the rivers which water the forest of 
Galtres, says ''The Fosse, a slow stream, yet able to bear a good vessel, 
rjaeth in nemore Calaterio, or amongst the woody hills now called Galtres 
Forest, and in its descent from the highest ground, leaveth Crayke on the 
west side, thence it goeth by Maiton Abbey, Marton, Stillington; FarUngton, 
Towthorpe, Erswick, Huntingdon, &c., at York into the Ouse." 

The Kidd rises in Netherdale, and passing by Knaresborough, enters the 
Ouse at Nun-Monkton. 

The Canals of Yorkshire are numerous, but are chiefly in the West 



Hiding ; and the county is so intersected bj BaiUcays, that there are few 
towns or good villages without a railway station. There are 420 miles of 
railway in the West Riding, and the land occupied by railways is 5,392 acres. 
It appears from a return recently issued by the railway companies in England 
and Wales, that the total acreage of the parishes through which the various 
railways pass, is 9,177,190 ; and the acreage of the land occupied by the 
railways is 66,047, or 071 per cent The aggregate length of railway in the 
various parishes is 6,637 miles ; and the average quantity of land occupied 
per mile of railway, is 11-68 acres. There is one mile of railway to every 
162,802 acres of land.* 

Antiquities, — Besides the Roman remains which are noticed at subsequent 
pages, the most remarkable antiquities exist in the relics of ancient castles 
and religious edifices. The only remains of Roman structures now to be 
seen at York are the polygonal tower, and the south wall of the Mint Yard. 
Roman urns have been discovered in several situations near the stations and 
roads of that people ; and a vast variety of Roman antiquities have, at dif- 
ferent times, been found in York and its vicinity, such as altars, sepulchral 
and other urns, sarcophagi, coins, signets, &o. Many ancient tumuli are 
discemable in various parts of the county, particularly on the Wolds ; and 
besides the Roman encampments, others of the Saxons and the Danes may 
be traced in several places in the North and West Ridings. Near Borough- 
bridge are three gigantic obelisks of single stones, commonly called the 
Devil's Arrows, by some thought to be Druidical, and by others supposed to 
be of Roman origin. About nine miles N.W. of Ripon is a remarkable 
assemblage of rocks called Bramham Crags, which are conjectured to have 
been a Druidical temple. 

The chief remains of ancient Castles or Fortresses are CliflEbrd's Tower at 
York; and in the West Riding, the castles of Conisbrough, Harewood, 
Knaresborough, Pontefract, Great Sandall, Skipton, and Tickhill; in the 
North Riding, the castles of Helmsley, Malton, Middleham, Mulgrave, 
Pickering, Richmond, Scarborough, Sheriff Hutton, and Skelton; and 

* From the some return we learn that the railway companies in England and Wales 
contributed towards the poor rates ^187,614. in 1851, and jC186,539. in 1852 ; while the 
total amount collected in the parishes through which they pass, amounted to jC3,I89,135. 
in the year ending Lady-day, 1851, and £3,113,926. ending at the same period in 1852. 
So that the railway companies paid in the year ending Lady-day, 1852, 5'99 per cent, of 
the whole, or nearly 6 per cent, of the rates for occupying 0*71 per cent, of the land, 
being 8*43 times the amount of the sum paid per acre by the parishes. The average 
amount paid by the parishes for the poor rates is 6* 78s. per acre, while that paid by the 
railway companies for the land they occupy, is £287. per acre. 


Wresadl in the East Biding. The most remarkable ancient mansions are, 
Temple Newsom, near Leeds; and Oilling Castle, near Helmsley. The 
latter was formerly the seat of the ancient fia,mily of Fairfax. There are 
likewise several ancient mansions injdifferent parts of the county, but now 
ccmTerted into farm houses. 

The number of ancient Beligious Houses, or Monastic Institutions, in the 
county was, according to Benton,* 14 Abbeys, 44 Priories, 7 Alien Priories, 
18 Cells and 23 Friaries of various orders. The beautiful and picturesque 
rains of many of them denote their former splendour. The principal ruins 
of abbeys are those of St. Mary's at York ; Fountains, Boche, Kirkstall, and 
Selbj, in the West Biding ; and Byland, Bivaulx, Easby, Eggleston, and 
Whitby, in the North Biding. The chief ruins of priories are those of 
Bolton and Knaresborough, in the West Biding ; Guisborough, Mountgrace, 
and Wykeham, in the North Biding; and Bridlington, Kirkham, and 
Watton, in the East Biding. 

Mineral Springs, <tc, — ^The chalybeate and sulphureous springs of Harro- 
ffoU are of great celebrity. They were discovered in 1571, and have rendered 
that once obscure hamlet one of the principal watering places in England. 
The springs of Askeme, about eight miles north of Doncaster, much resemble 
those of Harrogate, both in smell and taste, but differ from them in their 
operation. The chalybeate and saline springs of Scarborough, discovered 
early in the 17th century, have long been celebrated ; and there is also a 
famous chalybeate spring at Bridlington Quay. There are, besides, mineral 
springs of various qualities at Aldfield, Boston, Gilthwaite, Horley Green, 
Hkley, and Enaresborough, in the West Biding; and at Malton, in the 
North Biding. A mineral spring was discovered near Guisborough, in May, 
189d, which is much resorted to; — the waters are diuretic. At Enares- 
borough is the celebrated Dropping and Petrifying Well ; and at the bottom 
of Giggleswick Scar, near the village of Giggleswick, is a spring which ebbs 
and flows at irregular periods. On the Wolds, and near Cottingham, on 
their eastern side, are periodical springs, which sometimes emit very powerful 
streams of water for a few months successively, and then become dry for 

Amongst the most remarkable WaterfcMs in the coimty are Thornton Force, 
near the village of Ingleton, in the West Biding, and in the vicinity of 
Thornton Scar, a tremendous cliff of about 800 feet in height. The Force 
IB formed by a smaU stream, which is driven down a precipice of about 90 

• Monasticon EboracenM. 


feet in height. The cataract of Malham Cove, which is 800 feet high ; and 
Aysgarth Force; Hardrow Fall; High Force, in the Tees; Mallin Spout; 
Egton ; and Mossdale Fall ; all in the North Biding. 

There are several curious Caves, which may be classed among the natural 
curiosities of the county ; of which, that near Ingleton, among the Craven 
mountains ; Yordas Cave and Weathercote Cave, in the latter of which is a 
stupendous cataract of 60 feet fall ; Hurtlepot and Ginglepot, near the head of 
the subterranean river Wease, or Greta ; and Donk Cave, near the foot of 
Ingleborough, are the principal. In the same neighbourhood, at the foot of 
the mountain Pennigant, are two frightful orifices called Hulpit and Huntpit 
Holes, through each of which runs a subterraneous brook, about a mile in 
length, and emerging, one at Dowgill Scar, and the other at Bransil Head. 

Franchise, dc. — Previous to the year 1832, when the Reform Bill became 
the law of the laud, Yorkshire returned to Parliament two members for the 
county, and two each for the boroughs of Aldborough, Beverley, Borough- 
bhdge^ Hedon, Kingston-upon-Hull, Enaresborough, New Malton, North- 
allerton, Pontefract, Richmond,* Ripon, Scarborough, Thirsk, and York. 
Under that Act two members are returned for each of the three Ridings ; 
the boroughs of Aldborough, Boroughbridge, and Hedon, were disfranchised ; 
those of Northallerton and Thirsk were deprived of one member each; 
Bradford, Halifax, Leeds, and Sheffield, were granted two members each ; 
and Huddersfield, Whitby, and Wakefield, one member each ; so that there 
are now in Yorkshire seven new, and elet^en old, Parliamentary boroughs, 
which, with two members each for the three Ridings, returns no less than 
37 Members to Parliament. 

Yorkshire is included in the Northern Circuit, The Assizes are held in 
York, where is the county gaol ; the Quarter Sessions for the North Riding, 
at Northallerton ; and for the East Riding, at Beverley ; the Easter Quarter 
Sessions for the West Riding, at Pontefract ; the Midsummer, at Skipton, 
adjourned to Bradford and Rotherham ; the Michaelmas, at Knaresborough, 
adjourned to Leeds and Sheffield ; and the Christmas Sessions, at Wetherby, 
adjourned to Wakefield and Doncaster. 

The Inhabitants of Yorkshire are social, humane, industrious, frnigal, and 
enlightened ; and the familiarity that prevails amongst the different grades 
of society is an admirable trait in their character. The Yorkshire temple of 
fame records a numerous list of worthies, eminent in charity, literature, the 
arts and sciences, and in arms ; most of whom are noticed in the histories of 
the towns and parishes where they were respectively bom or flourished. 


Fboic the coDcuiTOiit testimony of the earliest historians, it is certain that 
the aborigines of Great Britain were several tribes of Gallic Celts, who emi- 
grated from the contihent, and settled here at least a thousand years before 
the Christian era, The whole of the southern coast of the island appears to 
have been peopled before either its more northern or the midland districts 
had been penetrated. As the descendants of the original settlers increased 
in number, and new bands of emigrants, or, as thej have been technioallj 
named, waves of population, successively arrived from the mother country, 
the backwoods were gradually cleared, till at length the whole island became 
inhabited. Besides the testimony of ancient authorities, the position of the 
two countries (Gaul and Britain), and the resemblance of manners and cus- 
toms, we have the clear and strong testimony of language, to prove the one 
people to have ^rung from the other. The Celtic language, though in 
divided portions, is still known amongst us. One branch of it, called the 
Gaelic, is spoken by the native Irish, by the Scottish Highlanders, and in 
the Isle of Man ; the other was formerly current in the county of Cornwall, 
and is still spoken in Wales and Lower Brittany. The Gaelic or Celtic race 
not only took possession of this kingdom, but actually overrun the continent 
of Europe, from the fieo-thest shores of Ireland to the banks of the Danube. 
The eariy Greek writers knew Htde of Western Europe, and Herodotus, who 
wrote in the middle of the fifth c^itiuy before the coming of Christ, had but 
an indistinct nodon of the British Isles, under the general term of Cassi- 
terides, or the Tin Islands, as the grand source from which the Phcenicians 
derived their supply of that metal. The earUest mdhtion of oiur islands by 
their names, is made by the philosopher Aristotle, who lived a century later 
than Herodotus. In alluding to the ocean without the Pillars of Hercules, 
(the straits of Gibraltar) he tells us there were " two islands, which are very 
large, Albion and Jeme, called the Britannic, which lie beyond the Celtse." 


Polybius, another Greek histx>rian, who wrote about 150 jears before the 
Christian era, speaks of the " Britannic Ides/' but adds nothing to our 
knowledge of tiiem. He tells us that firom a yeiy early period of the history 
of the world, the Phoenician merchants obtained their supply of tin (an 
article in use as far back as the time of Homer) from Britain. As this metal 
is found chiefly in Cornwall and the Scilly Islands, the parts of Britain which 
would flrst present themselves to the navigators from the PhoBnician port on 
the coast of Spain, Gadeira, or Gades (the modem Cadiz) would be these 
places and the south of Ireland. Another Greek writer, Diodorus Siculus, 
informs us that the tin was carried firom the district in which it was found, 
to an island ** in fi*ont of Britain," named Ictis, apparently the Isle of Wight, 
where it was purchased by native merchants, who transported it to Gaul, 
and it was then carried overland on pack horses, a journey of thirty days, to 
the mouth of the Rhone. If we except the allusions made to the trade in 
tin, by the early Greek writers, everything relating to this distant region, 
almost unconnected with the world as then known, was wrapped in 
mystery, and continued so until the veil was at length drawn aside by the 
ambition of Julius CsBsar. 

Ireland is supposed to have been peopled (at least in part) from the coasts 
of the west of Britain, at the same time that the aboriginal Celts emigrated 
to England. The former island, known to the Romand by the names of 
Hibemia and Juvema, appears to have been tolerably well known in the age 
of Ptolemy, who gives us a description of its coasts, and enumerates the 
tribes and towns both in the maritime districts and in the interior. Three 
at least of the tribes who held the eastern coast of Ireland, the Brigantes, 
the Menapii, and the Yoluntii, were, no doubt, colonies from the opposite 
shores of Britain. 

It was to one of the Celtic bands of foreign invaders, who inhabited 
Ireland, that the epithet Scots was flrst applied. Different interpretations of 
this word have been given, but the most probable is the same with the modem 
Gaelic term Scuit or 8c<tait, signifying a ** wandering horde.'* From Ireland 
a branch of the Scots passed over into Scotland, and eventually gave their 
name to that coimtry ; though a part of it had long before been peopled by the 
Caledonians or CavWdaoin, that is, '< men of the woods." The Gauls who first 
inhabited Britain'*' were distinguished, not only for their good natural capa- 

* The original name of this island, Albion, is that by which it still continues to be 
designated in the language of our Scottish Qael. They call it AUnnn, Inn 13 the' Qallio 
term for a *' large island;" AVb^ though not now used by the Scottish Gael, anciently aig- 
nifled whitt: Albinn therefore means the ** 'White Island," a name probaUy given to 


eitj, bat for their valour, and their pledged fidelity to aid each other against 
the attacks and incursions of all foreign powers. Their persons were tall, 
their clothing was untanned skinS) and they painted the naked parts of their 
body with a blue dye extracted from woad, decorating the skin with figures 
of Tanous objects, particularly the heavenly bodies; and they shaved all 
their beard except on the upper lip, which they suffered to grow to a great 
length. The barbarous practice of tatooing was long in use among the more 
northern Britons; it was a custom amongst the Picts as late as the fifth cen- 
tury. Their towns were a confused assemblage of huts, covered with turf 
or duns, little superior to the kraals of the Hottentots, and for the sake of 
secnrity, generally planted in the midst of woods and morasses, and sur- 
rounded with palisadoes of trees piled upon each other, like the fortification 
observed at this day among the New Zealanders. They seem to have been 
able to fabricate warlike weapons from metals. Their arms were small tar- 
gets, and swords, and spears; and in battle they used a very formidable kind 
of chariot, which was armed witJi iron scythes, projecting from the axle. 

Tbey were governed by chiefs, and the great mass of the people, as we 
leam from Caesar, were in a state of servile dependance, the mere slaves or 
Berh of a peering nobility. The general food of the tribes, inhabiting the 
soathem districts of England, was milk, and the flesh of their herds, super- 
stition having forbid the use of fish, and several kinds of animal food; but 
the poor savages of the north subsisted principally by hunting and the spon- 
taneous fruits of the earth. These Ancient Britons had made some progress 
towards civilization in the southern parts of the island, prior to the period 
of the Boman invasion, but all the northern tribes were as wild and uncul- 
tivated as their native hills. 

Their religion, which formed part of their monarchial government, was 
Druidical. Its origin is not known with any degree of certainty, though 
some affirm that it was first introduced into England by the Phoenicians ; 
whilst others contend that the Druids accompanied the Celts in early ages 
from the east They adored under different appellations the same Gods as 

Great Britain from the chalk cliffs which it presented to the view of the people on the 
opposite coast. Namerous interpretations have been given of the word Britain; the most 
probable perhaps, of which, is that advanced by Whitaker, the historian of Manchester. 
Brii, he maintains, signifies "the divided" or "separated;" and the termination in, is 
notfaing more than the sign of the plural according to the usual mode of declension in 
the Gaelie tongae. BrUin therefore were the separated people or the emigrants, as we 
thould say, — those who had removed from the rest of their countrymen in Ghml, and 
settled in AWifm; and thus it would appear that the name Britain, which is now given 
to the ialand, was originally applied to its inhabitants. 


the Greeks and Romans. Pluto they considered as iheir progenitor; Apollo, 
Mars, Jupiter, Minerva, and Mercury were severally worshipped. To these, 
the superior Gods, they added a multitude of local deities, the genii of the 
woods, rivers, and mountains. They worshipped in high places, and in deep 
groves, and adored the God of Nature, and rendered him praise on the yearly 
succession of the seasons, which they kept as solemn festivals. They did 
not worship idols in the human or any other shape, hut one of their tenets 
inculcated the invisibility of the deity, and that consequently he ought to be 
adored without being seen. They dwelt largely in allegory, aod symbolical 
representations, and clearly explained their superstitious rites and mytholo- 
gical observances to the initiated, but to none else : initiation therefore became 
a point of primary importance vrith every individual who was ambitious of 
exalting himself to eminence in any station of life, whether civil, military, 
or religious. 

On the oak they looked with peculiar reverence. This monarch of the 
forest, from its strength and durability, was considered as the most appro- 
priate emblem of the divinity. The tree and its productions were deemed 
holy; and if it chanced to produce the mistletoe, the whole tribe was sum- 
moned to gather it; two white heifers were immolated under its branches; 
the chief Druid cut the sacred plant with a golden knife, with much pomp 
and ceremony; and a religious feast tehninated the ceremonies of the day.* 

Their sacrifices in times of peace were the fruits of the earth ; in war they 

« One of the greatest festivals of the Braids was the WitiUr's SoUtiee, which they 
held about the same period of the year at which we celebrate the festival of Christmas; 
and hence the practice of adorning our houses with Mistletoe (a sacred plant with the 
Druids) has been derived from the use of that plant in the religious observances of that 
people. The mistletoe was dedicated to Friga, the Venus of the Scandinavians; and as 
she was the goddess of love, hence arose the custom of kissing under the mistletoe. 
The festival of the SalumaUa was introduced by the Romans, and was united with the 
winter festival of the Druids. The HoUy was dedicated to Saturn; and as the fetes of 
that deity were celebrated at the same time, the Bomans were accustomed to decorate 
their houses with hoUy. The Soman laurel was entwined with the Druidical mistletoe, 
and the Saxon evergreens with the holly and ivy, to form a garland wherewith to deco- 
rate the houses and temples of the people; and so has this custom of decorating our 
houses with evergreens remained with us to this day: the early Christians having used 
the same observances as their Pagan neighbours, while they were celebrating their fes- 
tival at Christmas, in order that they mi^t escape observation. The fostival of the 
Winter's Solstice was meant to testify men's joy at the return of the sun, and it obtained 
the Anglo-Saxon name of Juul or Yule, a word for which several etymologies have been 
assigned. On the eve of the Winter's Solstice, the Anglo-Saxons burnt a large block of 
wood as an emblem of returning light and heat, and hence may be traced the still ob- 
served custom in England, of burning the yule log. 


devoted to the God of battles the spoils of the enemy; bot in the hour of 
danger human sacrifices were deemed the most efficacious. To their belief 
in the immortality of the soul, they added the absurd fiction of metempsy^ 
chofiiS) that man is placed in the circle of courses — good and evil being placed 
before him for selection. If he prefer the former, his soul, when it leaves 
the body, enters the circle of felicity; but if he chooses the latter, death 
returns him to the circle of courses, and he is made to do penance for a time 
in the body of a beast or reptQe, and then permitted to re-assume the form of 
man. According to the predominance of vice or virtue in his disposition, a 
repetition of his probation may be necessaiy; but after a certain number of 
tn^amigrations, his ofiences will be expiated, and the circle of felicity will 
receive him among its inhabitants. 

" The worship of the Druids," writes the Rev. George Oliver, " was of a 
nature that required silence, secrecy, and space for contemplation. This end 
could be obtained by no means so effectually as by placing their sacred tem- 
ples in the bosom of an impervious grove of trees, intersected by a labyrinth 
of devious and inextricable paths and windings. The veneration for oaks 
was patriarchial; it is not, therefore, wonderful that the early Druids esteemed 
that tree holy, and solemnly consecrated it to one of their most powerful 
deities. The solitude of a grove of branching oaks gave an air of mystery 
to their proceedings, and the people were easily persuaded that it was the 
peculiar residence of the great and terrible God, who would not fail to inflict 
summary punishment on the profane intruder, whose unhallowed feet should 
violate the sanctuary, and unauthorized, attempt to penetrate the hidden re- 
cesses of the sacred enclosure, where the most holy temple was constructed.*** 

The sons of chief personages were disciples in the ethic schools of the 
Druids, where the rules of moral life were inculcated as the foundation of 
human wisdom; and in order to guard the people against any possibility of 
sophistry and innovation, their maxims of justice were taught orally. Their 
dispensation of justice was not under any written code of laws, but on what 
they professed to be equitable principles, all their verdicts being determined 
by such a sense of impartial justice as the assembled delegates entertained, 
and in a discordance of opinion in the congress, appeal was made to the 
Arch-Druid, whose sentence was decisive. 

In their civil government, capital offenders were sentenced to death, and 
publicly sacrificed in the most awful and solemn manner, whilst those con- 
victed of smaller crimes were excluded from public worship, and deprived of 
an civil and religious benefits until they sincerely repented. 

• History of Beverley, p. 10. 


The British Dniids exercised their utmost authority in opposing the usur- 
pation of the Roman invaders, who, inflamed with resentment, determined 
on the utter extermination of the Druidic order, consequentlj its priests were 
sacrificed to this inhuman policy; and those who fled to the Isle of Anglesea 
perished in the flames hy the orders of Suetonius, and subsequendj great 
numbers of them were massacred in the unsuccessful eiBTort of the Britons 
under Queen Boadicea. After this period the power and splendour of the 
Druids rapidly disappeared. 

The original inhabitants of the eastern side of the island, extending from 
the Humber to the Tyne, at the period of the Roman invasion, were the 
Brigantes,* the most numerous and powerful of all the tribes that then shfyred 
the possession of Britain. They were the last of the British tribes that bent 
the neck to the Roman yoke. Ptolemy, who wrote about a.d. IdO, asserts 
that they reached from sea to sea, the Mersey being their southern, and the 
Frith of Solway their northern boundary on the western coast. 

"Under this general term, however, appear to have been included the 
Vohmtii, to whom belonged the west of Lancashire, and the SistuntUf who 
possessed Westmorland and Cumberland; as well as the Parisi, who occu- 
pied the southern district of Yorkshire, and who are supposed by Horsley to 
have been separated from the proper Brigantes by a line drawn from the Ouse 
or Humber to one of the bays on the sea coast north of that river. According 
to Richard of Cirencester, the Parisi lived on the eastern point of Brigantuiy 
where the promontories of Ocellum (Spurn Head) and of the Brigantes (Flam- 
borough Head) stretch into the sea, and their cities were Petuaria and Partus 
FeUx, Probably as the capital of the proper Brigantes was on the banks of 
the Ure, the river Derwent formed the boundary between the two kindred 
tribes, and the present East Riding may safely be assumed to include some- 
what more than the extent of territory occupied by the Parisi. "+ 

The capital or metropolis of the Brigantes is termed by many writers, Iseur ; 
by Antoninus, Isu-brigantium, afterwards Isurium, now the small town or 
village of Aldborough, near Boroughbridge, in this county. 

Richard of Cirencester tells us that Isurium was the chief city of the 
province of the Brigantes, although he calls Eboracum (York) their capital. 
In a recently-published local work — QilVa VaUu Eboracerms, 8vo., 1852, p. 

* The Brigantes appear to have descended from the Helvetii, irhoae emigratioa ia 
mentioned hy Cesar. De Bell. Oail, lib. u The word Biigantia is derived by some 
writers from bri, a hUl ; gan, a lake ; and tia, country. 

t Beverlac, vol. i., p. 2. Portas Felix is placed in Bichard's Map of Britain on Bur- 
lington Bay. 


484, the history of Isttrium is giyen thus:— "Aldburgh was the Iseur of the 
Druids and Britons, the Isurium of the Bomans, the Burgh and afterwards 
the Aldbuzgh of the Saxons. It is supposed to have taken its original name 
firom Isis, a deity worshipped here, and Euros or Ure, the river near which 
the dtf stood. Previous to the Roman conquest it was the seat of the Brig- 
antaan kings, and the chief city of this part of Britain. Here reigned, before 
the year 50, Yenusius and his Queen, Cartismundua, who were afterwards 
subdued by the Roman power, and by whom, after having defended his 
country against the Romans for nine successive years, was the brave Carac- 
tacus. King of the Silures, treacherously delivered into the hands of his 
enemies. The conquest of Britain was completed about the year 70, after 
which Isurium Brigantium became the northern metropolis of the Romans, 
previous to their removal to £boracum, or York.'* Mr. Thomas Wright, M.A., 
F. S. A., in his Wandering$ of an AtUiquofy^ published in 1864, quotes the 
above passage, and then remariu that " all ibis pretended history is entirely 
without foundation.'* * * * 

"We have no reason for stating," he continues, *' that Isurium was known 
to the ' Druids and Britons' by the name of Iseur; the derivation has not even 
remote prabability in its favour, and there is not the least ground for sup- 
posing that Isis was ever worshipped here; we have not the slightest ground 
Ibr stating that it was the seat of the Brigantian Kings, and ito connection 
with Yenusius and his Queen is a mere creation of fancy; neither have we 
any reason for bdieving that it was ever 'the northern metropolis of the 
Romans,* or that they removed from hence to Eboracum. All that we really 
know is simply that Isurium must have been one of the earlier Roman towns 
in Britain, since it is mentioned by Ptolemy, and that it existed at the time 
when the Antonine Itinerary was compiled." Mr. Wright adds that his 
object Hot mentioning this is chiefly to warn his readers, and especially the 
young antiquary "against the speculative antiquarianism which thus builds 
deoq>tive edifices without foundations.'* 

Caius Juhus CsBsar, a favourite Roman General, having in the short space 
of three years conducted his victorious legions firom the foot of the Alps to 
the mouth of the Rhine, descried firom the coast of Morini the white clifEs of 
the neighbouring island; and ike conqueror of Gaul aspired to the glory of 
adding Britain to the dominions of Rome. The Britons, by lending aid to 
his enemies, the Yeneti of Gaul, supplied him with a decent pretext for 
hostilities ; and in the Utter part of the summer of the 65th year before the 
Chiistaan era, (the exact day, according to Halley, the astronomer, was the 26th 
of August), being the 699th year after the foundation of the Roman empire. 


Ctesar sailed from Witaand, on the French coast, between Calais and Bou- 
logne, with the infantry of two legions, (12,000 men in about 80 ships,) and 
in a few hours he cast anchor before the spot now occupied bj the town of 
Deal. The cavalrj was directed to follow in 18 yessels, which were stationed 
in a port about eight miles from that in which Csssar embarked. The Roman 
fleet left the coast of France at daybreak, and about ten o'clock in the fore- 
noon it arrived on the coast of Britain, here formed of low clififs, which were 
covered with British warriors, prepared for battle. After waiting in vain for 
the arrival of his cavalry until three o'clock in the afternoon, Csssar took ad- 
vantage of a favourable wind and tide, and running up about seven miles 
further, brought his ships upon an open and level strand, which was more 
favourable for the landing of his troops. The natives appeared in multitudes 
to oppose their landing, and the Roman troops were seized with alarm at the 
novel and formidable appearance of the British warriors, and, imacquainted 
with the depth of the water, they were unwilling to leave tlieir ships. At 
length, after much hesitation, the standard bearer of the tenth legion, calling 
on his fellow soldiers to follow, jumped into the sea. It was some time 
before they could reach firm ground ; for the depth of their ships had obliged 
them to anchor at a considerable distance from the shore, and they had to 
struggle through deep water, while their enemies rode into the water with 
their horses and attacked them, or overwhelmed them with missiles from the 
beach. As soon, however, as the soldiers obtained a firm footing, they gained 
the beach after a short struggle, and the untaught valour of the " naked bar- 
barians " was soon made to jrield to the superior discipline of their enemies. 
The Britons fled, and the invaders being destitute of cavalry were unable to 
pursue them. 

Thus did the Romans, for the first time, place their feet on the soil of Britain. 
Ccesar had been four days in Britain before his cavalry could put to sea from 
the coast of Gaul, and then, although a favourable wind brought them within 
sight of the camp, the weather became so stormy that they were driven back 
to the port they had left. The storm increased during the night, and Ceesar s 
ships, which rode at anchor, were destroyed or much damaged. This acci- 
dent caused the British chiefs to form a new conspiracy, with the design of 
attacking the Roman camp. A general assault was soon made, and although 
it proved unsuccessful, it taught Ccesar to reflect on the evident danger of 
his situation, should the inclemency of the winter intemipt his communication 
with Gaul. He therefore gladly accepted an illusory promise of submission 
from a few of the native chiefs, and returned with his army to Gaid, after a 
short absence of three weeks. The ensuing winter was spent by each party 


in the most actiTe pieparations ; and in the following spring, CsBsar, with an 
army consisting of five legions and d,000 cavalry (30,000 men) saQed fipom 
the coast of Gatil, in a fleet of more than 800 ships. At the sight of this 
immense armament, the Britons retired with precipitation into the woods ; 
and the invaders landed without opposition on the very same spot which they 
had occupied the preceding year. 

The British chiefs having composed their differences, soon united against 
the invaders ; and the latter were exposed to constant attacks, in the course 
of which they lost a considerable number of men; for the woods which 
covered or skirted the country through which CsBsar marched, gave a secure 
shelter to the Britons, and they were thus enabled to harass the Romans, by 
sudden and unexpected attacks. At length, after conquering and receiving 
the submission of a very larffe tract of country, extendinj? from sea to sea on 
the southern side of the iZd; C»s<^ ha^ agreed upon a tribute which 
the Britons were to pay annually to the Eoman people, returned to Gaul, 
carrying with him the hostages which he had taken from the British chiefs, 
as pledges for the fulfilment of a treaty into which th^ had entered with 
him* CiB8ar*s expedition to Britain was considered one of the most re- 
markable events of the time ; and the victorious commander was looked upon 
as one who had carried the Homan arms into "a new world. 

During the period of about a century, from the time of Ceesar to that of 
Claudius, we have scarcely any information relatlag to the island of Britain. 
But in the reign of the latter Emperor, Britain seems to have been disturbed 
with civil strife. One of the chiefs, called by Dion Cassius, Bericus, was 
compelled to fly finom the island, and took refuge at the court of Claudius, to 
whom he explained the state of Britain, and tJie facility with which, at that 
momenty it might be conquered. It appears too, that at that time, the 
islanders had been very irregular in the payment of their tribute, so that 
ClaudiuB was thus supplied with an excuse for hostilities. Accordingly, in 
the year 48, that Emperor sent over an army, under the command of a 
senator of distinction, named Aulus Plautius, who perfected the conquest of 
a great part of Britain. 

The first mention of the great tribe of the Brigantes occurs about a.d. 60, 
aHer Plautius was recalled to Rome, and when Ostorius Scapula was Governor 
or Proprstor of Britain. At that period Caractacus, the brave chief of the 
Silures ^Welshmen), was defeated in battle by the Romans, and he fled for 
protection to Cartismandua, his stepmother. Queen of the Brigantes. But 
instead of assisting or protecting that great warrior against the common 
enemy, this unnatural woman delivered him up to the Roman power, from 


fear of drawing a victorious army into her countiy. The dignified appearanoe 
of Caractacus and his feunily at the court of Rome, is the theme of eveiy 
Bchoolboj. From Tacitus we learn some particulars of the abandoned Queen 
Cartismandua.* She had married one of her chiefs, named Venusius, who 
quarried with her because she would not surrender to him the supreme 
power oyer her people. She then not only deserted her husband, but con- 
signed her person to the embraces of her menial servant Vellocatus. Avitus 
Didius Oallus succeeded Ostorius as Propnetor, in the year 5d, and about 
the time of his arrival in Britain, a civil war broke out among the Brigantes. 
Many of the tribe, disgusted with the conduct of their Queen with r^aid to 
Caractacus, placed themselves under the leadership of Venusius, and cried 
out against the indignity of being ruled by a woman. Cartismandua's party 
appear to have been the strongest, and Venusius was driven from among the 
Brigantes. He now placed himself at the head of the party that was in 
arms against the invaders, and for some short time was pretty successful. 
In the meantime, Cartismandua captured and put to death a brother and 
other relatives of her husband ; and he, in revenge, collected his allies, and 
being joined by a party of the Brigantes, proceeded to make war on the 
Queen, his wife ; she now claimed the protection of the Romans, who imme- 
diately sent an army to assist her, and in a well-contested battle the enemies 
of the Queen were defeated. In a.d. 60 there was a general revolt of the 
Britons, under Boadicea, Queen of the Iceni, joined by Venusius with his 
Brigantian forces. This valiant princess led the British armies in person 
against the legions of Rome; and, in a dreadfol fight at Battle Bridge, 
80,000 Britons are said to have been left dead on the field. The reader of 
English history is aware that this noble lady died by her own hands to save 
herself from infiamy or bonds. In the following year the combined army was 
routed by Suetonius Paulinus ; and in the same year the Brigantes revolted 
against the authority of Cartismandua, who, after some severe conflicts, was 
only rescued with great difficulty by a body cf Roman troops. 

In the year 70 Venusius was sole monarch of the Brigantes; but after 
several hard-fought battles, in which the Romans were finequently defeated, a 
great part of the Brigantian territory was subdued by Petilius Cerealis, in 
the reign of the Emperor Vespasian. 

British Remains. — There is hardly a comer of England in which the 
spade or the plough does not from time to time turn up relics of its 'earlier 
inhabitants ; but the British antiquities consist chiefly in the places of sepul- 

Tadt. Hist, lib ill, c. 46. 


dure of that people — the barrows, cromlechs, stone circles, together with the 
instrameiita of stone and bronze, which are sometimes discovered in the 
sepulchral chambers, and frequentLj found in ploughed fields in most parts 
of the country. 

From the remotest ages it was customaiy to mark to future generations 
the kst lesdng place of the honoured dead, bj raising mounds, more or less 
eleYEted, according to circumstances connected with the locality, or according 
to the power or influence of the deceased. To these sepulchral mounds our 
Anglo-Saxon forefathers gave the names of low, (hlcnoj, and barrow, (heorhy 
hearw); of which the former is chiefly preserved in names of places, such as 
Bartlow, Houndslow, Lowesby, &c, ; while the latter has been generally used 
as the technical term for aU ancient sepulchral mounds: both are equivalent 
to the Latin tumuku. The British barrows are generally large mounds of 
earth covering a rude chamber of rough stones, often of colossal dimensions. 
Groups of large stones arranged in this manner have been found scattered 
over vaikms parts of the British Islands, as well as in other countries. Our 
antiquaries have applied to them the name of cromLecha^ and have in many 
cases called them Druid's altars; but recent researches have left no room for 
doubt that they are all sepulchral chambers denuded of their mounds. The 
word crcmleeh is said to be Celtic, and to have a meaning not differing much 
from that of the name dolmen, givrai to them in France, which signifies a 
stone table ; and the peasantry of that country often call them Fairies* Tables, 
and Devils* Tables. Some of our Geltio antiquaries not satisfied with the 
name of Cromlech, had named them Kist^vaens, or, as they interpret it, 
stone e^este. The cromlech, in its simplest form, consists of four large 
stones, three of which raised on their ends form the sides of a square, while 
the fourth serves as the covering, so that the chamber thus formed is usually 
closed in only on three sides. In some instances, as they now stand, the 
back stcme has been carried away, and the cromlech consists only of three 
stones, two standing like the portals of a door, to support the transverse cap- 
atone or lintel; in others, where the cromlech has fallen, only two stones are 
left, one upright, and the other leaningupon it with one edge on the ground ; 
and, in many instances, all that remains of the original cromlech is a single 
stone standing upright or lying flat We owe these forms doubtless to the 
dilapidations of time, and several examples are known of the destmction of 
whole eromlechs to break up the stones for roads or other purposes. 

But the cvomleoh, or British sepulchral chamber, was sometimes made 
more complicated in its structure than that just described. In some instances 
it presents the form of a ponderous ciqp-stone, supported at its oomers by four 


Stones, aiid leaving the sides of the chamber more or less open. In other 
instances the chamber is made more complete) its sides being formed bj a 
number of stones joined side by side iwdth one or more very large cap-stones 
above. Sometimes more than one cromlech is found under the same mound ; 
and in other cases these Celtic sepulchres contain galleries or a series of 
chambers under large moimds. Vast works of this kind are found in Brittany 
as well as in Ireland. The celebrated Celtic monument in New Grange, in 
the county of Meath, contains a chamber 20 feet high, by 30 feet in circum* 
ference, and is approached by a narrow passage from the side of the mound, 
the entrance to which was closed by a long slab of stone. The monument 
at Ashbury, in Berkshire, to which the Saxons attached the name of WelandM 
Smiththan (Weknd's Smithy — Weland was the Saxon Vulcan), a name which 
has been corrupted to that of Wayland Smith's Cave, appears to have been 
originally a gallery, with chambers of this description. 

In the year 1816 a very curious monument of the same kind, at Stoney 
Littleton, near Wellow, in Somersetshire, was opened, and an account of it 
published in the 19th vol. of the Archselogia. The barrow, which was com- 
posed of stones instead of earth, was of a very irregular form, measuring in 
length 107 feet, its extreme breadth being 54 feet, and its height 13 feet in 
its most elevated part. When opened it was found to contain a long galleiy, 
with chambers on each side. The reason of the use of stones instead of 
earth, in the formation of the mounds or barrows, may be generally traced to 
to the natural character of the locality, as such barrows are found most 
frequently on spots where stone was much more easily obtained than earth. 
In Scotland, where barrows formed of stone are numerous, they are callecl 
cairns. The Welsh call them camydd; and in France the sepulchral mounds 
of stone are called galgah. The cap-stones of some of the cromlechs in 
England are of immense size; that of the cromlech in the parish of Morvan, 
in Cornwall, called Chto-Quoit, is calculated to weigh about 20 tons; the 
covering stone of one at Lanyon, in the parish of Madron, in the same county, 
weighs about 15 tons; and that of the very remarkable cromlech on the hill 
between Maidstone and Kochester, in Kent, known by the name of Eits-Coty 
House, has been estimated at 10^ tons. Others are much smaller. The 
base of the larger sepulchral mounds, and very often of the smaller ones, was 
usually defined either by a shallow foss, or by a circle of stones, and some- 
times the two were combined. In some instances, especially in CornwaU, 
instead of the circle of stones the base of the barrow was supported by a sort 
of low wall. The circles of stones are frequently foimd with the cromlechs 
in various parts of England; and they are also often found without any 


cromlech in the centre. There are several good examples of the latter in 
Cornwall, which measure from 60 to 80 feet in diameter ; and there are 
remains of these sepulchral circles on the summit of the lofty Pen-maen- 
mawr, in North Wales ; at Little Salkeld» in Cumberland ; at RoUrich, near 
Banbury ; and in several other parts of England. The circle at Salkdd, 
called in that locality, Long Meg and her Dattghtera, consists of 67 unJieum 
upright stones, forming a circle of 350 feet in diameter ; some of the stones 
are 10 feet high, and 15 feet in circumference ; and one, which stands about 
twelve yards from the others, is 15 feet in circumference, 18 feet high, and 
weighs 16^ tons, is called " Long M^," and the others " her daughters." 
Near the principal stone, four others form a square, which is doubtless 
part of the ancient cromlech. This, like all these sepulchral cirdes, is 
situated on elevated ground ; and indeed, in a great number of cases, the 
British cromlechs, like the barrows of other periods, are placed on lofty hills, 
commanding extensive views of the sea, if on the coast ; or, when inland, of 
the surrounding countxy. It seems always to have been the desire of the 
British chieftains to be buried in such commanding positions ; and our as- 
tonishment is heightened on viewing the stones of many of the cromlechs 
and circles, by the consideration that there are no quarries in their immediate 
neighbourhood, from which the stones could have been obtained. A fine 
cromlech, with a circular base of stonework, at Molfra, in Cornwall, is situated 
on a bare hill, which commands a wide range of view over Mount's Bay. 
The above-mentioned circle on the top of Pen-maen-mawr, is another extra- 
ordinary instance of this kind ; and a third is situated on a lofty hill com- 
manding a view of the Scilly Isles. But the Britons must have possessed a 
mechanical art of which we are ignorant, by which these stones could* be 

Dr. Stukely asserts that all the great stones forming Stonehenge, on 
Salisbuiy Plain, were brought from Marlborough Downs, a distance of 15 
miles, and that one of them weighed 40 tons, and would require 140 oxen to 
draw it The BoUrich Stones are perhaps the most interesting remains of 
the ancient Britons, in the central district of the kingdom : they form a 
circle, the diameter of which is 107 feet. Within the circle are the remains 
of the cromlech now called the Five Whiepering KnighU, in consequence of 
their leaning position towards each other; and which cromlech, Stukely 
believed to have formed a Kistawm. The tallest of the five large Knights 
is now very nearly 11 feet in height A stone circle, called Arbor-low, in 
the peak of Derby, is nearly 150 feet in diameter, and is surrounded by a 
deep intrenchment Sometimes the stones forming the sepulchral circle 


are nearly equal in size, while in other cases they are very irregular. 
It does not necessarily follow that the mounds raised in aU these circles 
contained each a cromlech — ^the interments, may, in some cases, have heen 
made without a chamher, as it has been found to be the case in some large 

Antiquarians observed these circles before they noticed how often they ac- 
companied cromlechs, or were aware that cromlechs are sepulchral monu- 
ments ; and they generally gave them the name of Druids' Circles, imagining 
that they were the temples, or courts of justice, or places of assembly of that 
order; but it is now quite certain that the ms^ority of them were originally 
made to support or inclose sepulchral mounds. The cromlechs, too, which 
it is now certain were sepulchral chambers, were untLL lately supposed to be 
Druidical altars. In 7e greater number of instoces. the euperincumbent 
mound or barrow has been removed, chiefly for the sake of the earth, or 
soil; but sometimes, perhaps, in the belief, prevalent during the middle ages, 
that treasure was contained under it, and the massive chamber of rough 
stones alone has been left standing. Hence the number of cromlechs without 

With our scanty knowledge of the sulject, it would be rash to assert that 
the whole of the stone circles still remaining on our own soil, have been 
erected around sepulchral mounds. The greater number of these cireles are 
not larger than the basis of ordinary large barrows, and there are sepulchral 
mounds known, whose basis are equal to the largest ; yet some few of the 
cireles may have been erected for other purposes. The gigantic monuments 
of Stonehenge and Abury, or Avebury, are amongst those to which it would 
be difficult to assign a cause for their erection. Stonehenge, an Anglo-Saxon 
term, meaning the hanging stones, is the most remarkable monument of 
antiquity in our island. It, " the great wonder of Salisbury Plain," con- 
sisted originally of an outer cirele of 80 upright stones, 14 feet high above 
the ground, and 7 feet broad by S feet in thickness, sustaining as many 
others, placed horizontally, so as to form a continuous impost. 

This differs from other Celtic stone monuments, inasmuch as the stones 
have been hewn and squared with tools, and each of the upright stones 
had two tenons or projections on the top, which fitted into mortices or hollows 
in the superincumbent slabs. Within this circle, which was about 100 feet 
in diameter, was another circle, 83 feet in diameter. This again enclosed two 
elliptical arrangements of large and small stones. This structure of stones 
occupies the centre of an area, inclosed by a cireular entrenchment, consisting 
of a ditch and bank, 300 feet in diameter; and it was approached by a wide 


entrenched ayenue from the north-east, which, at the- distance of a few hun- 
dred leet, hranched off in two ways, running north and east Stonehenge, — 
the Chorea Gigantum — Choir of Giants, is a mysterious monument, con- 
cerning which no one knows who built it, or how, or why it was built; and 
the tradition that Merlin, the magician, brought the stones from Ireland, is 
felt to be a poetical homage to the greatness of the work. The ground around 


Stonehenge is coyered with barrows, and was eyidently the cemetery of a yery 
eztenaye tribe. 

At the yiUage of Ayebury, about SO miles distant from Stonehenge, is a 
series of remarkable circles, which consisted originally of an area of about 
1,400 feet in diameter, inclosed by a deep ditch and bank. The space inclosed 
by the earthen embankment contains a yillage, with.yarious fields and 
buildings, oyer which the stones that remain are scattered in apparent con- 
fuaion. At no great distance from the outer circle is a fine cromlech with its 
attendant circle of stones. 

In the British barrows the body is sometimes found to haye been buried 
entire, while in many cases it had been burnt, and the ashes deposited in 
rode urns. When the body was interred without cremation or burning, it 
WBs sometimes stretched at full length, and at others doubled up and laid on 
one side, or sometimes placed in a sitting position. The urns, containing the 
burnt bones, are sometimes found in their natural position, and sometimes 
inyerted, with the mouth downwards. When upwards, the urn is often 
coyered with a flat stone. The different modes of burial seems to haye been 
fashions adopted by different fiimilies, or by subdiyisions of tribes or septs ; 
though all the different modes of interment are often found in the same 
harrow, for some of the barrows seem to haye been feunily grayes, and it is 
raze to find only one interment, while the large barrows contain usually a 
oonsiderable number of urns and bodies. Throughout these early barrows 
there appears much irregularity, and eyidently a good deal of caprice in the 
mode of buriaL 

Most of the cromlechs, stone circles, and large stones, in yarious parts of 
this and other countries, and which, as we haye said haye been classed erro- 
neously among Druidic remains, haye attached to them many popular names 
and legends; for when thahr meaning, or the object for which they were 
erected, were alike forgotten, the monuments continued to be regarded by 
the peasantry with reyerence, which, combined with a certain degree of 
mysterious fear, degenerated into a sort of superstitious worship. 

As we haye seen the peasantry of France denominate the simple cromlechs 
. furies* tables and devils* tables, and the more complicated cromlechs are 


similarly named fiuries' grottoes, or fairy rocks. The single stones are some- 
times called fairies* or devils' seats. The people of Brittany declare that the 
multitade of stones arranged upright in lines at Camac, was an army of 
pagans changed into stones hy St. ComiUy. It is the popular belief in Anjou, 
that the fairies, as they descended the mountains, spinning by the way, 
brought down the great stones in their aprons, and placed them as they are 
now found. We have also seen that the Saxons believed that a cromlech in 
Berkshire was the workshop of their mythic smith, Weland. A sepulchral 
circle in Cornwall is called Dance Maine, or the Dance of Stones, and is said 
to be the representation of a party of young damsds, who were turned into 
stones because they danced on the Sunday. A cromlech on Marlborough 
Downs is called the Devil's Den; and the three gigantic stones near Borough- 
bridge are called the Devil's Arrows. According to legend, a party of soldiers 
who came to destroy Long Clapton were changed into the Bollrich Stones, 
in Oxfordshire. These, and similar legends, are found in every part of our 
island, and they are generally good evidence of the great antiquity of the 
monuments to which they relate. 

It does not appear to have been the custom with the Britons to inter with 
their dead many articles of value. By much the greater number of barrows 
are found to contain nothing but urns and burnt bones. In some cases a few 
instruments of stone or bronze are found ; and in much rarer instances beads 
and firagments of other personal ornaments oociur. Traces of a metal covering 
for the breast, very thin, and therefore more for ornament than protection, 
have also been found with skeletons appeurently of this early date. The most 
remarkable discovery of this kind was made in the month of October, 1833, 
at Mold, in Flintshire. A barrow, which was called by the Welsh peasantry, 
bryn^^Uy-Uon, or the hill of fairies or goblins, and which was believed to be 
haunted, was cleared away for agricultural purposes. It was found to contain 
interments of urns, &o,, and in another part of the mound was discovered a 
skeleton, round the breast of which was a corset of thin gold. This inter- 
esting relic is now in the British Museum. There is a curious circumstance 
connected with this barrow: before it was opened, a woman of the neighbour- 
hood declared, that as she was going home late one night, and had to pass by 
it, she saw over the barrow a spectre '^clothed in a coat of gold, which shone 
like the sun." 

The implements made of stone, which are found in the barrows, are usually 
heads of axes or hammers, chisels, and arrow heads ; and these, as well as 
stone knives, saws, ^c^, are also found abxmdantly in all parts of the British 
Islands, and indeed all over the world. The British urns an m general. 


llioagli not always Tery rudely made — ^not baked, but merely dried in the 
smi, and haying none of the elegance of the Koman urns. 

There are many ancient barrows in Yarious parts of Yorkshire, especially 
in the south-eastern part of the county, or the wold district; several of which 
liare been opened, and found to contain urns, burnt bones, skeletons, stone 
and bronze implements, Sec.; and numax>us relics of our Britidi ancestors 
hacve been, tamed up by the plough and spade in Tarious parts of the county. 

There are several collections of British coins in the hands of private indi- 
vidnflls, as wdl as in the museums, but our knowledge of them is as yet in 
its in&ncy; and comparatively little has been done towards classifying them 
in a satisfiEMstory manner. 

Of the domestic buildings of the early Britons there are no remains, nor 
axe there any relics of those terrible war-chariots which Cessar describes as 
striking tenor into his legions ; but a few British canoes (one of which is in 
the museum at York), a few circular shields, some spears, daggers, multi- 
tudes of axe heads, arrow heads, Ssc. ; some coarse potteiy, together with the 
sepolchml mounds, circles, and cromlechs, elready noticed; and the mighty 
earlliworks, which they erected for the defence of the country, are the only 
memorials we have of the original inhabitants of our island. And in 
speaking of those earthen ramparts, it is difficult to define the precise share 
of the ancient Britons in their construction, as compared with the labours 
of the Bucoessive occupants of the country; for the Romans, being too wise 
a people to be destroyers, naturally improved the old defences of the island, 
and adapted them to their own notions of military science ; and the same 
remaik will apply to the Danish and Saxon invaders.* 

Julius Agricola effected by policy what the Boman legions were unable to 
accomplish by coercion, namely, the entire subjugation of the Brigantes. 
His admirable prudence led him to introduce amongst the natives of 
Britain, the arts and manners of his own nation, and by instilluig into 
their minds a taste for the elegancies and luxuries of civilized life, he accom- 
plished more in a few years than his predecessors had done by arms for 
upwards of a century. The Britons were charmed with the mildness and 
justice of his government, and publicly pronounced him their benefactor. 

• For a ftiller aeeotmt of the Aborigines of Britain, see a recent work, called " Tb& 
Celt, the BoBMn, and the Saxon," by Thomas Wright, Esq., M JL, FJ3JL, ise. 


He received the submisBion of the whole of the Brigantes in the year 79 ; 
and from that period the Romans fixed their principal station at Eboracum 
(York), and it became the capital of the fourth Roman proyince called Max- 
ima CoMfrienM, 

Before the close of the first century, the ancient British habits began to 
be disesteemed by the chiefs, and regarded as a badge of barbarism. Tacitus, 
describing the change which the manners of the Britons underwent, says, 
" They, who a little while before disdained the language, now affected the 
eloquence of Rome ; this produced an esteem for our dress, and the Toga came 
into general.use, by degrees they adopted our vicious indulgences, porticoes, 
baths, and splendid tables; this among these uninformed people was called 
cultiyation, whereas, in fieu^t, it was only an appendage to slavery." 

That politic commander (Julius Agricola), after he had reduced the north 
of England, and what is now termed the lowlands of Scotland, in order to 
secure his conquests, and to keep the latter district in subjection, erected 
a line of forts across what has been termed the upper isthmus, from the Forth 
to the Clyde ; and in the reign of Antoninus, LoUius Urbicus raised on the 
same site a new chain of fortresses, and joined them together by an immense 
continuous rampart of earth and turf, which, from the name of the Emperor 
under which it was built, is usually called the Wall of Antoninus. It is now 
called popularly Graham's Dike, and along its course are frequently found 
inscribed tablets commemorating the portion built by the different troops and 
cohorts of the Roman army. Some writers assert that Agricola, in a«d. 84, 
also extended ftora Solway Frith to Tynemouth a chain of stations, which in 
A.D. 124, were connected by a deep ditch, an earthen rampart, and a great 
wall raised by the £mperor Hadrian, or Adrian, as an obstruction to the 
sallies of the Caledonians, who obstinately refusing to yield to the imperial 
eagle, frequently descended in rage from their mountains, notwithstanding 
the barrier raised by Agricola, and penetrating into the Roman territory, 
committed dreadful ravages. 

After the departure of Agricola, in a.d. 85, this unbending people overrun 
a great part of the countiy to the north of the Humber ; and being joined by 
numbers of the discontented Britons, who were anxious to throw off their 
subjection to a foreign yoke, carried on a predatory war against the Romans. 
To quell the revolt, Julius Severus was appointed Governor of Britain, but 
was shortly afterwards recalled, and Prisons Licinius was sent to succeed 
him. But the Caledonians continuing their incursions, the Emperor Hadrian 
himself arrived in Britain, in A.n. 120, to oppose them in person, and fixed 
his residence at Eboracum. He brought wiUi him the Sixth Roman Legion, 


styled Legio Sexta Victrixy* which consisted of ahout 6,000 foot and 600 
horse ; hut on his approach the invaders retreated. From what he had seen, 
Hadrian was convinced that the chain of forts erected hy Agricola, was not 
soMcient to resist the assaults of these active and persevering harharians ; 
and be determined to confine their incursions hy raising that formidahle 
barrier across the island, fi'om the Solway to the Tyne, of which we still 
trace tiie stupendous remains. A massive wall, nearly 70 nulesf in length, 
extending over plain and mountain, from Bowness, on the Solway Frith, to 
the now celehrated locality of Walls-End, near the mouth of the Tyne, ac- 
companied on its southern side hy an earthen vallum and a deep ditch. 
This celehrated wall was a massive work of masonry, varying from 6 to nearly 
10 feet in thickness, and from 18 to 19 feet high. On the north side it was 
accompanied hy a foss 86 feet wide, and 16 feet deep. To the south was 
another lesser foss, with a triple entrenchment of earth and stones. The 
wall was fortified with a formidable series of 23 stationary towns, with inter- 
mediate nule castles and watch towers. These towns or stations were a short 
distance apart along the line of the wall, and each consisted of a citadel, 
strongly waUed, with streets and hahitations within, and often extensive 
saburbs without. The smaller fortresses, as we have just observed, stood 
between these towns, at the distance of one Koman mile from each other; 
and between each of these again were four small subsidiary buildii^gs, which 
ior distinction have been termed watch towers. And for its defence were 
assigned 4 squadrons and 14 cohorts, composing an army of 10,000 men. 
The remains of this great rampart at the present day rises in some parts six 
feet above the sva&ce. 

Until lately it was the custom of historians to consider the wall only as 
the structure raised by Hadrian, while the earthen vallum or rampart was 
ascribed to Severus ; but the Rev. J. Collingwood Bruce, of Newcastle-upon 
Tjme, clearly proves, in his interesting volume on "The Roman Wall," 
recently published, that both are parts of one work, erected by the former 
Emperor. This immense erection seems to have been part of a system of 
circumvallation adopted by the Emperor Hadrian, for it appears that remains 
of similar walls are found on the distant frontiers in Germany. Having 
thus made provision for ^e future security of the province, and having also 

• The title Vietrix, or Conquering, was bestowed on those legions distinguished for 
some fiaat of extraordinary bravery. The first officer of the legion was called LegoHa 
Legionii, and he acted under the superior order of the Greneral of the army of which his 
legion formed a part, or the Qovemor of the province where it happened to be stationed. 

f The word Mile is derived from MiUiaare, a thousand paces. 


restored order, and diiven back the Caledomans into their fastnesses, Hadrian 
returned to Borne, leaving the Sixth Legion at York, where its head quarters 
continued for 800 years. 

The expedition of Hadrian to Britain, which was commemorated by several 
coins in large and middle brass, seems to have been followed by a period of 
profound tranquillity. In a.p. 138, Hadrian was succeeded by the Emperor 
Antoninus Pius, whose Propraetor in Britain was Lollius Urbicus, a man of 
energy and talent, which he was soon called to exercise in suppressing a new 
irruption of the northern tribes. 

The Caledonians appeared in a state of insurrection on the south of 
Hadrian's wall, aided by a remnant of the Brigantes, who seem to have pre- 
served a precarious independence, perhaps in the rugged country extending 
from the wilds of Lancashire over the lake district, and who had frequently 
made predatory outbreaks. The latter were quickly overwhelmed, and the 
greater part of the tribe destroyed. The northern insurgents were driven 
into their mountains, and Lollius Urbicus caused the new barrier to be raised 
for their restraint, which we already noticed under the name of the wall, of 
Antoninus. The energetic measures of Urbicus restored tranquillity for a 

The Romans had now begun to treat the natives with more respect, and 
to consider them as component parts of the empire ; the Britons were allowed 
to become participators of the laws, privileges, and immunities of the Romans; 
they became eligible to every situation and office for which they were qualified, 
and they no longer endured a disgraceful exclusion from intermarrying with 
their conquerors. By this wise act the Romans gained some of her best 
commanders and Emperors. In the reign of Gommodus, about the year 183, 
the Caledonians again took up arms, routed the Roman army, and ravaged 
the country as far as York. To repel these invaders, the Emperor immedi- 
ately sent over as Proprsetor, Ulpius Marcellus, a soldier of approved valour, 
with a great body of troops, who quickly restored peace. But it was of short 
duration, owing to the revolts of the natives, the incursions of the Caledo- 
nians, and the insuboiiflination of the Roman army. In the reign of Severus, 
Virius Lupus, then ProprsBtor in Britain, wrote to that Emperor " informing 
him of the insurrections and inroads of the barbarians (as the native inhabi- 
tants were called), to beg that he might have either a greater force, or that 
the Emperor would come over in person." Severus chose the latter, and in 
d08 (the 14th year of his reign), attended by his two sons, Caracalla and 
Geta, and a numerous army, he arrived in Britain, and immediately advanced 
to York, which was besieged by the Britons, under Fulgenius, a Scythian 


General, whom the natives had drawn over to their assistance. The 
£mperor, now 60 years old, and sorely afflicted with gout, resolved to con- 
duct the war against them in person. He rejected all overtures for peace, 
except on their entire suhmission to his mercy, which hard condition they 
rejected. They accordingly raised the siege, and retired north of Hadrian's 
vail, whither the Emperor, with his son Caracalla, and a great force pro- 
ceeded, leaving his other son, Geta, in company with Papinius, an eminent 
Koman lawyer in York, to administer justice until his return. Severus 
having at length, in S09, suhdued or concluded a treaty with these hitherto 
nnconquered people at a loss, according to Dion and others, of no less than 
50,000 men, took hosti^es of them, and returned to York. It has heen 
popularly supposed, as we have already ohserved, that the following year was 
employed in the construction of that immense line of fortification from the 
Solway to the Tyne, which recent examinations, and the careful consideration 
of ancient testimonies, have left little douht was the sole work of the Em- 
peror Hadrian. Indeed, the historian of Severus has not hesitated to pro- 
nounce that stupendous erection, the principal glory of his reign. Severus 
carried his conquests as fiar as the Highlands of Scotland, and it is not 
probable, that, after having added so much to the Roman territory towards 
the north, he would raise a barrier on the limits to which the Roman power 
had been confined when almost at its lowest ebb. 

It is possible, however, that Severus may have repaired the wall, and it 
seems that during his stay at York he often visited its towns and garrisons. 

Historians have related several "fatal omens" which accompanied the 
Umperor's progress, one of which occurred at York, when on his return firom 
Caledonia, he went to offer sacrifice at the temple of Bellona. While he was 
there, confiding in the solemn promises of the Caledonians to preserve the 
peace, news suddenly arrived that the MasatsB and the Caledonii (the two 
great tribes into which all the other tribes of Britain had in a manner 
mei*ged) had igaxn united, and they had recommenced their predatory in- 
roads. Furious at the faithlessness of the barbarians, and incensed at the 
renewal of a war, by an enemy whom he had considered as completely sub- 
dued, Severus resolved on their entire extermination; but his own death, 
which occurred on the 4th of February, /211, averted the accomplishment of 
his sanguinary design. A short time previous to his death, he addressed his 
sons, Caracalla and Geta, thus : — " I leave you, Antonines (a term of affec- 
tion) a firm and steady government, if you follow my steps, and prove what 
you ought to be ; but weak and tottering, if you reject my council. Let 
every part of your conduct tend to each other's good ; cherish the soldieiy, 



and ihen you maj despise the rest of mankind. I found the republic dis- 
turbed, and everywhere distracted, but to you I leave it firm and quiet — even 
the Britons. I have been all, and yet I am now no better for it" Then 
calling for the urn, in which his ashes were to be deposited, he exclaimed, 
'* Thou shalt hold what the whole world could scarcely contain." The 
Boman historian, Eutropius, tells us that this Emperor died at York — ^he 
expressly says, **dece8sit Eboraci;" and Spartian also says, " periit Ebaraci 
in Brittania" The Saxon Chronicle confirms this testimony, by stating that 
" he reigned 17 years, and then ended his days at York." (Efer-wick.) 

After his death, according to the custom among the Bomans, his remains 
were reduced to ashes. Dion Cassius and Herodian tell us that his body 
was borne by the soldiers to the funeral pile, about which the army and the 
•two sons of the deceased Emperor made several processions in honour of his 
memory. Abundance of presents were cast upon it, and at last the fire was 
put to it by Caracalla and Geta; and that the ashes were collected and re- 
ceived into an urn of porphyry, carried to Home, and deposited in the tomb 
of the Antonines. 

All the writers who have described York have dwelt with much exultation 
on the magnificence of the funeral obsequies of Severus. The funeral pile is 
stated to have been erected beyond the village of Holgate, about H mile west 
of the city, and the eminence now called Severm HiU is doubtless indebted for 
its present appellation to its connection, in some way, with that fiineral cere- 
mony .« Drake is of opinion that this mount or tumuli, where the funeral 
rites were performed, was raised by the soldiers that the memory of their 

* When a Boman died, his body was laid out and washed, and a small coin was placed 
m his mouth, which it was supposed he would require to pay his passage in Charon's 
boat. If the corpse was to be burnt, it was earned on the day of the funeral in solemn 
procession to the fimeral pile, which was raised in the place set apart for the purpose, 
called the tutrinum. The pile, called rogus, or pyra, was built of the most inflammable 
wood ; and when the body had been placed upon it, the whole was ignited by the rela- 
tions of the deceased. Perfumes and spirituous Hquids were often poured over it; and 
objects of different kinds, which had belonged to the individual when aHve, were thrown 
into the flames. When the whole was consumed, and the fire extinguished, wine was 
scattered over the ashes, after which the nearest relatives gathered what remained of 
the bones and the cinders of the dead, and placed them in an urn, in which they were 
committed to the grave. The site of iho ustrinum has been supposed to have been 
traced in the neighbourhood of several towns in Boman Britain. Persons of rank were 
burnt with greater ceremonies than were observed on ordinary occasions, and on a spot 
chosen for the purpose instead of the ordinary ustrinum. The Bomans had other modes 
of sepulture besides that of cremation. The bodies were sometimes buried entire, but 
in several diflerent manners. — The Celt, the Boman, and the Saxon, by Thomas Wright, 
Esq., M.A., F.S.A., &c. 


great captain might surviye in Britain; but other historians maintain that 
the bill is a natural elevation on the face of the country; and recent excava- 
dons, for the purpose of forming the large reservoir for the new waterworks, 
have confirmed that opinion. 

After the death of Severus, his two sons, in compliance with the will of 
iheir £ither, jointly assumed the imperial purple; but the elder brother, 
Canu^alla, a man of vile disposition, perceiving that his half-brother, Geta, 
was in much &vour with the army, on a slight pretence of mutiny, ordered 
no less than 30,000 soldiers and persons of both sexes, whom he considered 
as Geta*s friends, to be put to death; and with his own hands he murdered 
Geta in the arms of his mother .f This monster then returned to Rome, 
from whence he went to Syria, where he was assassinated at the instigation 
of Opillius Macrinus, by Martialis, a desperate soldier, who had been refused 
the rank of centurion. 

For a considerable time no occurrence of importance took place in Britain, 
though the Sixth Legion continued at York. But the country north of the 
Hnmber, where the Bomans had settled in great numbers, began to assume 
a beautiful aspect. They cleared the woods, drained the marshes, built or 
improved all the principal towns ; the cheerless cabin of the British chief was 
exchanged for the Roman Villa, with its decorated porticoes and tesselated 
pavements ; and some of the most important Eoman stations were scattered 
over the once wild haunts of the fierce Brigantes. 

In the year 287, during the reign of the Emperor Dioclesian, Carausius, 
a Briton, who had the command of a fleet on the Belgic coast, passed over 
into Britain ; assumed the imperial purple, and set at defiance the whole 
power of Rome. He is said to have been proclaimed Emperor at York. 
This usurper overcame, with the assistance of the Picts and Scots, with 
whom he leagued, Quintus Bassianus, a Roman Lieutenant, who was sent 
over by the Emperor, to dispossess and destroy him. After reigning for 
seven years, an independent Emperor of Britain, he was treacherously mur- 
dered at York, by his Mend Alectus, who appears to have caused himself to 
be prockimed Emperor in that city. Both of these usurpers were of plebeian 

f Although it has been generally agreed by local historians, that the murder of Geta 
and Papinins by Caracalla took place at York, Gibbon, in his Decline and FaU of the 
Soman Efi^nre (chap. vi. pp. 52, 53), seems to be quite onoonscious that any difference 
of opinion preTailed as to whether it happened at York or at Bome. The silence of such 
an authority, on a question incidentally so important to the accuracy of his histoiy, is 
very ominous of the invalidity of the claim of York to have witnessed the assassination, 
as well as the death and deification of some of the masters of the world. — York Guide, 


origin. Some authors assert that Alectus was murdered by Asclepiodotus, 
who also seized on the government of Britain, whilst others contend that 
Alectus reigned until Constantius, sumamed Chlorus, was elected Emperor 
at Rome, in a.d. 304, when the latter came over inmiediatelj to Britain, and 
slew him with a sword of his own making — ^he (Alectus) having been, as it 
is asserted, in early life a whitesmith. Constantius, though but a senator of 
Home in the reign of AureHan, was of imperial descent ; and having some 
years before visited this island in the character of Propraetor, is said to have 
married Helena, or Helen, a British princess — ^but that Helen was of British 
origin, appears to be a mere fable. Constantius and Helena were, however, 
the parents of Constantine the Great, the first Christian Emperor of Rome, 
who was generally supposed to have been bom at York, in the year 272, 
imtil Niebuhr published his " Lectures on the History of Rome," wherein he 
shows that in aU probability, Naissus, in Moesia, was the place of his births 

Drake, and other local historians, seem very desirous to prove that Con- 
stantino the Great was bom in York during one of the expeditions of his 
father to Britain, but little reliance is to be placed upon many circumstances 
of this nature, connected with histoiy so many centuries ago— especially when 
historians are found vieing with each other in giving, as they think, an im- 
portance to the city to which, in many instances, it has no claim. In the 
instance before us, Gibbon, in a note to the 14th chapter of his Decline and 
Fall, destroys any lingering inclination, which a partial citizen might retain, 
to believe that such was the case. 

Constantius resided at the Imperial Palace at York for two years, and died 
there on tho 25th of July, 306, " fifteen months after he had received the 
tide of Augustus, and almost fourteen years and a half after he had been 
promoted to the rank of Csesar."* The ceremony of the deification of the 
remains of Constantius was performed with the usual splendour at York ; — 
Drake has collected, with great diligence, an account of the costiy character 
of the solemnities.+ Several medals in memory of Constantius were struck 
on this occasion, which have the head of the Emperor velatum et laureaJtum ; 
and this inscription, " Divo Constantio Pio." On the reverse is an altar 
with an eagle on each side of it, holding a label in their beaks between them, 
inscribed " Memoria Felix." 

There was a local tradition that the urn containing the ashes of Constan- 
tius, was deposited in a vault beneath the church of St. Helen-on-the-Walls, 

• Gibbon's Decline and FaU of the Roman Empire, xiv. p. 169. 

f Eboracum, p. 43. 


York ; that it was discoTered about the time of the Beformation ; and that 
the urn was preserved for some time in that church. 

Constantine the Great, the son and successor of Constantius, is said to 
have taken great pains to be present at his &ther*s death, the better to secure 
the favour of the British legions. Gibbon relates the arts by which he 
induced the imperial authorities in Eboracum to proclaim him Emperor of 
the West HoweTer, it is certain that he assumed the imperial purple at 
York, with the titles of Caesar and Augustus, and that there he was pre- 
sented with a Tufa, or golden globe, as a symbol of his soTer^igntj over the 
island of Britain. He prized this emblem highly, and upon his conversion 
to Christianity, had a cross placed upon it, and had it carried before him in 
all his processions. The Tufa has been the usual sign of royalty, in England, 
since that period, and is considered part of the regalia. 

Soon after the inauguration of the Emperor Constantine, he not only left 
Britain, but Europe also ; and removed the seat of empire firom Home to 
Byzantium, called afterwards from him, Constantinople. 

In 312, Constantine renounced paganism, and embraced Christianity, and 
in the following year, after the conquest of Italy, he made a solemn declara- 
tion oi his sentiments in the celebrated edict of Milan, restored peace to the 
Christian church, and promulgated the principle of religious liberty. 

Eusebius ascribes the conversion of Constantine to the miraculous sign of 
a cross, which was displayed in the heavens, with the legend, *' In hoc Signo 
VincU " (By this sign thou shalt conquer), while he meditated and prepared 
the Italian expedition. 

The Britons remained quiet till the year 326, when they revolted, and the 
Scots having come to their assistance, the Eomans, under the command of 
Trahems, their Lieutenant^ were defeated, and Octavius, the British chief, 
was crowned King of all Britain, in York. 

AAer this, Octavius ungratefully sought to dispossess his benefactors, the 
Picts and Scots, of that part of the country allotted to them by Casarius ; 
but the King of Scotland being informed of his intention, came suddenly 
upon him, and compelled him to flee to Norway. 

The exact date of the introduction of Christianity into Britain is involved 
in obscurity, and has been the subject of much dispute. Some writers place 
the date of its introduction at a very eariy period after the death of our Lord. 
A manuscript in the British Museum says, ''In the 31st year after the 
Crucifixion, twelve disciples of St. Philip the Apostle, of whom Joseph of 
Arimathea was the head, came into this land, and preached the doctrines of 
Christianity to King Arviragus, who denied, them. But they obtained from 


him this spot (Glastonbury), with twelve hides of land, whereon they erected 
the first church in the kingdom." Gent, Speed, Camden, and others, assert 
that the gospel was preached here by Joseph of Arimathea in the time of 
Suetonius, and by Simon Zelotes in the time of Agricola; whilst some 
authors pronounce that Christianity was planted in this island by St. Paul, 
and some of the other Apostles. The chronicler of Doyer Castle says, " In 
the year of grace 180, reigned in Britain, Lucius. He became a Christian 
imder Pope Eleutherius, and served God, and advanced Holy Church as 
much as he could. Amongst other benefits he made a church in the said 
castle, where the people of the town might receive the sacraments. "><« The 
same chronicler then goes on to tell of the dreaiy period of the Saxon inva- 
sion under Hengist, when "the Pagan people destroyed the churches 
throughout the land, and thrust out the Christians." 

William of Malmsbury records as a remarkable piece of ecclesiastical an- 
tiquity, that when St. Philip the Apostle was in Gaul, promulgating the 
doctrines of Christianity, he received information that all those horrid super- 
stitions which he had observed in the inhabitants of that country, and had 
vainly endeavoured, with the utmost labour and difficulty, to overcome, 
originated from a little island at no great distance from the continent, named 
Britain. Thither he immediately resolved to extend the influence of his 
precepts, and despatched twelve of his companions and followers, appointing 
Joseph of Arimathea, who, not long before, had taken his Saviour from the 
cross, to superintend the sacred embassy. On their arrival, the Koman 
General, Vespasian, who was tarrying at the court of Arviragus and Givenissa, 
interested himself very warmly in their behalf with both the King and Queen; 
and at his request the royal protection was granted to the strangers, and 
they were hospitably entertained by Arviragus; who, to compensate them for 
their hard and toilsome journey, bestowed on them, for a place of habitation, 
a small island, which then lay waste and untiUed, surrounded by bogs and 
morasses. To each of the twelve followers of St. Joseph, he appointed there 
a certain portion of land called a hide, sufficient for one family to live upon, 
and composing altogether a territory to this day, denominated "the Twelve 
Hides of Glaston." 

Mrs. M. Hall, in her recently-published Lives of the Anglo-Saxon Qiieens, 
says, " The account of the first introduction of Christianity into Britain, sin- 
gular and romantic as it may seem, is not undeserving of attention, as it is 
well known that St. Paul preached to the utmost bounds of the west ; and 

• See Appendix, Mo. I., to Bagdale's Acootint of the Nunnery of St. Martin. 


we have excellent authority for believing that some of the Apostles actually 
preached to the Britons. Theodoret, who asserts this, declares the Britons 
were conyerts to St. Paul; and states that Aristobulus, a Bishop ordained by 
St. Paul, and sent to Britain as a missionary, was mart3rred a.d. 66. There 
is, indeed, every reason to believe that the Christian faith was early promul- 
gated in Britain, and many converts made prior to the defeat of Queen 
Boadicea. If Vespasian was at all instrumental in establishing it here, it is 
singular enough, as his son Titus was the destroyer of Jerusalem, and dis- 
perser of the Jews throughout the world." 

The Fabyan Chronicle says, "Lucius, or Lucy, the sone of Coilus, was 
made King of Biytons in the yere of our Lord, C. Ixxx. The whiche in all 
actes and dedyes of goodness followed his forefaders in suche wyse, that he 
of all men was beloued and drad. Of this is lytell or none acte notable put 
in memoiy, except that aU wiyters agree that this Lucius sent to Eleuthe- 
rius, th^i Pope of Home, certayne pistles or letters, prayinge hym that he 
and his Brytons myghte be receyved to the faythe of Crist s Churche; 
whereof the Pope beynge very joyous and gladde, sent into Brytayne .ii. noble 
derkes, named Faganus and Damianus, or after some Fugacius and Dimia- 
nua; these .ii. good and vertuous derkes were honourably receyued by 
Lucius, the whiche, by ther good Doctryne and vertuous ensamples gyu3mge, 
conuertjd the Kinge, and a great parte of the Brytons."'*' 

The Venerable Bede, who wrote his Ecclesiastical History in the 8th cen- 
tury, "and whose learning," says the author of Beveriac, "would make his 
authority respectable in any age," tells us that the Christian Mih was 
preached in Britain, and the first hierarchy established by the missionaries 
sent in a.d. 170, by Pope Eleutherius, at the request of Lucius, a British 
King.f This statement is confirmed by St. Gildas the Wise, who flourished 
AO). 495; and who observes, Hke Bede, that the Britons preserved the fiaith 
in tranquillity from, that time until the persecution of the Boman Emperor 
Diocletian in 303, when St. Alban and so many others suffered martyrdom.^ 

Three British Bishops, — ^Eborius of York, Kestitutus of London, and 
Adelphius of Richborough — attended the first ecclesiastical council at Aries, 
which was called by Constantine the Great, to condemn the heresy of the 
Donatists in a.i>. 314. According to the accounts of that Council, published 
by Simon of Paris, the Bishop of York signed himself ^'Eborius Episcopels de 

• Fabyan Chronicle, p. 88. 
t Eedes. Hist, Book i, chap. iv. Bede tells as that in the 4th century the monastery 
of Bangor, near Chester, contained more than 2,000 monks. 

i Bellarm. de Scrip Ecdea.; also Usher Kccles. BriL Antiq., cap. v. 


Civitate Ehoracensi"^ British Bishops, we are likewise told, attended the 
Council of Nice in the year 825 ; and at that of Sardica in 847. The first 
direct evidence of the existence of structures, dedicated to the Christian wor- 
ship in York, is to he found in the records of the events which occurred in 
that city during the struggles between the Britons and the Saxons. York 
was then frequently taken and re-taken, and suffered severely in various 
sieges, for the different conquerors took but Httle pains to keep in repair the 
various buildings erected by the Romans. 

Ambrosius, the British King, held a council of his princes and nobles at 
York, and ordered, we are told, the churches, destroyed or injured by the 
Pagans, to be re-built. King Arthur, who is said to have celebrated the first 
Christmas ever kept in this country, at York in a.b. 534, gave similar 

Now, on the other hand, some writers deny the whole of the above evidence 
altogether. Mr. Thomas Wright, a most zealous and skilful antiquary, in 
his excellent work on the early inhabitants of Britain,f tells us, that amongst 
the immense number of altars and inscriptions of temples, and with so many 
hundreds of Koman sepulchres and graves as have been opened in this 
country, not a single trace is to be found of the rehgion of the Gospel. " We 
seem driven by these circumstances to the unavoidable conclusion," he writes, 
" that Christianity was not established in Eoman Britain, although it is a 
conclusion totally at variance with the preconceived notions into which we 
have been led by the ecclesiastical historians." The same learned writer, after 
examining the subject, is of opinion that the few allusions to Britain in the 
earlier Christian writers, ought to be considered as little better than flourishes 
of rhetoric. " Britain," he says, " was the western extremity of the known 
world, and when the zealous preacher wished to impress on his hearers or 
readers, the widely extended success of the Gospel, he would tell them that 
it extended from India to Britain, without considering much whether he was 
literally correct in saying that there were Christians in either of these two 
extremes. We must probably consider in this light certain passages in 
Tertullian, Origin, Jerome, and others." With respect to the alleged pre- 
sence of British Bishops at the CouncU of Aries, he thinks that the lists 
printed in the Collections of Councils is extremely suspicious, and looks veiy 
like the invention of a later period. " In the year 860, under the Emperor 
Constantius, a council was called at Arminimi (Rimini), in Italy, on account 

* Camden's Britannia, Gough's edition, 
f The Celt, the Saxon, and the Roman, by Thomas Wright, Esq., MJL, F.S^, Ssc., 
pp. 296, &o. 


of the Arion controTersy, and it is said to have been attended by four hun- 
dred Bishops. The prelates assembled on this occasion were to be supported 
at the public expense, but we are told by the ecclesiastical historian, Sulpicius' 
Severus, who wrote about forty years afterwards, that * this seemed unbe- 
coming to the Bishops of Aquitaine, Gaul, and Britain ; and they choose 
rather to liye at their own charge, than at the public expense. Three only 
hx>m Britain, on account of their poverty, made use of the public provision ; 
for, though the other Bishops offered to make a' subscription for them, they 
thought it more becoming to be indebted to the public purse, than to be a 
burden upon individuals.* If this account be true, and three Bishops really 
went from Britain, they were perhaps only missionaries, whose converts were 
too few and too poor to be able to support them." Mr. Wright thinks it not 
unlikely that the three names of British Bishops " pretended to have been 
at the Council of Aries, had been made to answer to the three Bishops men- 
tioned by Sulpicius Severus ;" and he treats the above accounts, in which 
occur the nameb of Joseph of Arimathea, St Paul, King Lucius, and Pope 
Kleutherius, as l^endary stories resting upon no authority, and which will 
not bear criticism. He also refuses to believe in the " pretended persecution 
in Britain under Diocletian;" but we think his reasons for denying it are not 
very strong. "A persecution of the Christians," he argues, "is not likely to 
have taken place under the orders of the tolerant Constantius, who was 
Governor of Britain when the persecution of Diocletian commenced, and who 
became Emperor two years later, and in another year left his title to his son 
Constantine." Constantius may have been tolerant, but he was a Pagan, 
and the representative and servant of the persecuting tyrant Diocletian ; and 
that he (Constantius) became Emperor two years afterwards, and that after 
his death his son became a Christian, seems but a poor cause for supposing 
that he refused to cany out the rule of his master in persecuting the 

Our antiquary entertains strong doubts of the authenticity of the work 
attributed to Gildas, on which chiefly our notions of the establishment of 
Christianity into Koman Britain are founded. " If the authority of such 
writers be worth anything," he adds, '' we must take it for granted that at 
least after the age of Constantine, Boman Britain was a Christian country ; 
that it was filled with churches, clergy, and bishops, and, in fact, that Pa- 
ganism had been abolished throughout the land. We should imagine that 
the invaders, imder whom the Roman power feU, found nothing but Christian 
altars to overthrow, and temples of Christ to demolish. It is hardly neces- 
saiy to point out how utterly at variance such a statement is with the result 


of antiquarian researches; not a trace of Christianity being to be found 
among the innumerable religious and sepulchral monuments of the Roman 
period, found in Britain." 

But at whatever period the truths of the Christian religion were first 
preached in this kingdom, it seems certain that it had been quite extirpated, 
and that idolatry had spread itself entirely over the land, when Pope Gregory 
the Great sent hither Augustine and his fellow-labourers to spread the faith 
of the Gospel, in the year 696. 

The Homan government in Britain was vested in a Prefect, or Propretor, 
who possessed the whole administrative power, judicial and military; a 
Quaestor or Procurator, appointed by the Emperor, to arrange the affairs of 
the revenue ; and a numerous army of legionaries and auxiliaries secured 
the obedience of the people, and protected the country from foreign invasion. 
In the reign of Constantine, both the form of government and the territorial 
divisions were altered. That monarch divided his vast dominions into four 
prefectures — Italy, Gaul, the East, and Blyria. Britain was included in the 
prefecture of Gaul, and the deputy of that prefect resided at York, and was 
called the Vicar of Britain. His subordinates were the consulars of Valentia 
and Maxima Ccssariensis; and the presidents of the sub-divisions called 
Flavia, Britannia Prima, and Britannia Secunda, The superintendence of 
the army was committed to three Dukes; the first commanded from the 
north fi:ontier to the Humber; the second, with the title of Count of the 
Saxon Shore, the troops on the coast from the Humber to the Land's End in 
Cornwall; and the third, the Count of Britain, commanded the garrison in 
the interior. 

Throughout the provinces were scattered a great number of inhabited 
towns, and military posts, the names of which are still preserved in the 
Itineraries of Eichard and Antoninus. They were partly of British and 
partly of Roman origin ; and were divided into four classes, gradually desc^i- 
ding in the scale of privilege and importance. The Colonies claimed the first 
rank, and were inhabited by veterans rewarded by the lands of the conquered 
nations. Each colony was a miniature representation of the parent city. 
It adopted the same customs, and was governed by the same laws. In 
Britain there were nine of these establishments, two of civil and seven of a 
military description, namely, Richborough, London, Colchester, Bath, Glou- 
cester, Caerleon, Chester, Lincoln, and Chesterfield. The towns of the 
second class were called Munioipiaf and were occupied by Roman citizens. 
The advantages enjoyed by the Colonies were nearly equalled, and in some 
respects surpassed by the privileges of these municipal cities, the inhabitants 


of which were exempted £rom the operation of the imperial statutes, and 
possessed the right of choosing their own magistrates, and of enacting their 
own hkws. Privileges so valuahle were reserved for the reward of extraordi- 
nary merit, and Britain could only boast of two Municipia — ^Verulam (near 
the present town of St Albans) and York. The Latin Cities were the next 
in lunk, and their inhabitants had the right of electing their own magis- 
trates annually ; and the Stipendiary Towns were charged with the imperial 
tribute from which the other towns were exempt These distinctions were 
however gradually aboHshed. Antoninus granted to every provincial of rank 
and opulence the freedom of the city; and Caracalla extended the indulgence 
to the whole body of the natives. 

The science of agriculture seems to have made great progress about this 
time, for Tacitus observes, that, except the olive, the vine, and some other 
fruits peculiar to the hotter climates, this country produces all things else in 
great plenty; and that the fruits of the earth, in coming up, are forward, but 
very slow in ripening; the cause of which is the excessive moisture of the 
earth and air; and Strabo observes, that our air is more subject to rain 
ihan snow. 

Camden says, that so happy is Britain in a most plentiful product of all 
sorts of grain, that Orpheus (or more truly Onamacritus) hath called it the 
very seat of Geres; and, continues the same writer, *' former times this was 
as it were the granary and magazine of the Western Empire, for from hence 
the Romans were wont every year, in 800 vessels larger than barks, to trans- 
port vast quantities of com, for the supply of their armies in garrison upon 
the frontiers of Germany." He also quotes an enconium on Britain, from an 
old orator, in a panegyric to Constantine, thus, " O fortunate Britain, the 
most happy country in the world, in that thou didst first behold Constantine 
our Emperor. Thee hath Nature deservedly enriched with the choicest 
blessings of heaven and earth. Thou neither feelest the excessive colds of 
winter, nor the scorching heats of summer. Thy harvests reward thy labours 
with so vast an increase, as to supply thy tables with bread, and thy cellars 
vrith liquor. Thy woods have no savage beasts; no serpents harbour there 
to hurt the traveller. Innumerable are thy herds of cattle, and the flocks of 
sheep, which feed thee plentifully, and clothe thee richly. And as to the 
comforts of life, the days are long, and no night passes without some glimpse 
of light For whilst those utmost plains of the sea shore are so flat and low 
as not to cast a shadow to create night, they never lose the sight of the 
heavens and stars; but the sun, which to us appears to set, seems there only 
to pass by.** 


Isacius Tzetes, a famous Greek writer, affirms that the fertility and 
pleasantness of Britain gave occasion for some to imagine, that these were 
the Fortunate Islands, and those the Seats of the Blessed, where the poets 
tell us the face of nature smiled with one perpetual spring. 

The Romans continued to hold their sway in Britain for nearly a century 
after the death of Constantino the Great, hut their writings afford hut scanty 
materials for illustrating the histoiy of Yorkshire. 

The Emperor Constantine having taken the flower of the British youth to 
his wars in Gaul, Britain was left open to the devastating incursions of the 
Caledonians, or Picts and Scots,* who in 364 renewed their attacks; and 
the country was at the same time harrassed hy the Saxons, whose predatory 
descents on the coast indicated their intention of seizing on a dominion, 
which imperial Rome now held with a feehle hand. 

Internal dissensions, and external assaults, were now hasting £a^ the 
downfall of the empire of Rome, and in a.d. 426, the Romans finally relin- 
quished all possession, power, and authority, in Britain, in the 481st year 
after Caesar's coming over. " The tyrants had left none but half foreigners 
in our fields," writes William of Malmsbury, "None hut gluttons and de- 
bauchees in our cities ; Britain robbed of the support of her vigorous youth, 
and the benefit of the liberal arts, became a prey to her neighbours, who had 
long marked her out for destruction. For immediately after, multitudes lost 
their lives by the incursions of the Picts and Scots, villages were burnt, cities 
demolished, and all things laid waste by fire and sword. The inhabitants of 
the island were greatly perplexed, and thought it better to trust to anything 
than a battle : some of them fled to the mountains, others having buried 
their treasures, many of which have been dug up in our age, betook them- 
selves to Rome for assistance." 

• Scotland, the ancient name of which was Caledonia, was first inhabited by a people 
who came from Scythia or Scandinavia, which now includes Norway, Sweden, and part 
of Denmark, and took the name of Pike or PehtSt from a country so styled in the north 
of Norway. In the time of the Saxons they were called Peohts, and their country 
PeohUand, They were called Caledonians from Celyddon, which in the ancient British 
language meant the Coverts. Some say they were descendants of Scythiac, or Gothic 
colonists, who conquered North Britain some ages before the Christian era. The Scots 
were originally GaJlic Celts, who in early ages migrated from the western shores of 
Britain into Ireland. They made many marauding incursions into the Eoman territories 
on the south-west coast of Scotland. At length they settled in Kintj're, and had coloni- 
zed Argyle, 50 years after the Saxon conquest, when a bloody struggle ensued between 
them and the natives, which at the end of 340 years, terminated in the extinction of the 
Pictish government, and the union of the Picts and Scots, under Eeneth Mac Alpin, in 
A.D. 843. 


Many striking evidences of the stupendous public works accomplished by 
the Romans during their residence in this country stiU remain. " Like a 
conqaeror of modem times, they bestowed extraordinary attention on their 
public roads and waUs, and at a distance of 1,400 years, we can trace in 
legible characters around us, the labours of the mistress of the world." The 
Roman Yeterans were no less famed for their valour in the field than for their 
knowledge and assiduity in architecture and sculpture, for they fought and 
laboured with equal skill and vigour, and it is much to be regretted that this 
wise policy of keeping the soldiery usefully employed in time of peace, should 
have been abandoned by the modem European nations. 

The Sixth Legion, called Legia Sexta Victrix, remained at York, until the 
final desertion of the island by the Romans. This legion was brought out 
of Germany by the Emperor Hadrian, and its station at York may easily be 
traced for a period of more than 300 years. The ninth legion was also 
stationed at York, but is generally supposed to have been early dissolved, 
and incorporated with the sixth. This legion consisted of six to seven 
thousand troops, of which about one-tenth part was horse, and the remainder 
foot soldiers. 

The Roman soldiers employed much of their leisure hours in perpetuating 
their names, or complimenting their victorious leaders by monumental 
inscriptions ; and also by inscriptions commemorative of the completion of 
buildings and public works; and in erecting and inscribing statues in honour 
of their principal deities; but after the introduction of the Christian religion 
these statues were destroyed. Many Roman coins have been found in the 
neighbourhood of the great stations, where they had been secreted either by 
the Roman soldiers, or by the afi&ighted Britons, when the northern tribes 
or the Saxon invaders burst in upon their country, and razed their towns to 
the ground. 

Roman Roads. — The Romans bestowed very great attention, labour, and 
expense on their pubHc highways, which generally consisted of a regular 
pavement, formed by large boulder stones or fragments of rock, embedded in 
gravel, and varied in width from four to fourteen yards, and were carried 
over rivers, not by bridges, but by fords. 

The four principal Roman military roads which traverse Britain were the 
WatUng, or WiUhding Street ; the Ermine, or Hermin Street ; the Fosseway ; 
and the Icknild Street. The Roman roads are generally very direct. They 
seem seldom to have turned out of their course to avoid a hill ; and in some 
instances we find the Roman road proceeding direct up an acclivity which 
we should not encounter at the present day. A Roman road runs over the 


top of one of the mountains of Westmorland, almost 2,000 feet above the level 
of the sea, which is named from its devation. High Street 

The WaUing Street,^ which divided England in length, commenced at the 
port of Hutupia, now Eichborough, in Kent, and extended to the limits of 
the wall of Severus on the Tjne, intersecting Yorkshire from the edge of 
Nottinghamshire, to the bishopric of Durham. It is probable that this great 
highway entered the county somewhere in the neighbourhood of Bawtxj, but 
the exact point is not ascertainable. It is certain, however, from traces, that 
it passed through Danum, or Doncaster, over Scawsby and Pigbum Leas to 
Bamsdale, through Pontefract Park to Castleford, the ancient LegioUum,^ 
From this station it continued to Calcaria, now Tadcaster, and from thence 
to Eboracum (York), the chief seat of the Homan power in Britain. From 
this city it was carried on to Imrium (Aldborough), where it crossed the 
river, and thence by Leeming Lane to Cattaracton, now Catterick Bridge. 
Crossing over the Swale, it turned more to the northward, and passing over 
the Tees gX Ad Tisam (Piersel»idge), it entered the county of Durham, and 
thence continued to the Boman wall. 

The Ermine Street extended from London to Lincoln and Warrington, 
crossing Northamptonshire at Castor, and passing through Yorkshire. The 
Fosseway led from Bath to Lincoln and Newark; and the Ickneld, or Icknild 
Street, extended from Caistor, in Norfolk, through Colchester to Lincoln. 

Besides the Watling Street and Ermine Street, several other Roman roads 
ran through the Ager EboracensiSf or province of York, in various directions, 
and for the discovery of some of them, as also many other Homan works, we 

» The etymology of this, the greatest of the Boman roads, has cansed much discnssion 
amongst antiquarians. Hoveden thinks that it was called the Watling Street, fh)m 
Wathe or Wathla, a British King. Whittaker, the Manchester historian, and Stukeley 
are of opinion that it was the Guetheling rood — Sam GueiheUn, or the road of the Irish, 
the 6 being pronounced as a W. Camden thinks that it derives its name from an un- 
known Yitellianus, but that its etymology is from the Saxon Wadla, a beggar, because 
this rood was the resort of such i>eople for the charity of trayeUers. Spehnan fimcies it 
was called Werlam-Street, from its passing through Verulam. Soniner derives the name 
from the Belgic Wentelin, while Baxter contends that it was made by the original 
Britons. Br. Wilkes says, that it was more indented and crooked than other Boman 
roads usually are, and supposes that it was formed of wattles^ which was the idea also of 
Pointer. A learned writer in the Mirror for 1829, contends that it is a Boman road 
made from station to station, and hence its deviation from a straight line, which in 
many parts is so apparent. He is also of opinion that it was planned and formed by 
Vespasian, the celebrated Boman general in Britain, after the various stations through 
the kingdom were finished, and that he named it, in compliment to the Emperor 
Vitellius, VUeUU Strata Via, Watling-Street Way. 

f Boothroyd's Hist. Pontefract, p. 12. 


tre nudnlj indebted to the industry of Francis Drake, Esq., the learned 
antiquary of the city of York, and the late Rev. Thomas Leman. A military 
load led from Mancunium, or Manchester, to York, passing through the 
township of Stainland, near HaHflEuc, by the way of Cambodunum, supposed 
to be Almondbniy, near Huddersfield. It kept the C alder on its left* till it 
crossed that riTor about a mile below Dewsbury, where it fell in with the 
turnpike road to Wakefield. From this place it kept the direction of the 
precwnt highway, half the way to Pontefiact, and then inclining to the left, 
joined the great military road from Doncaster to York. 

Another of these Roman ways ran from Chesterfield, by way of Sheffield, 
Bamsley, Hemworth, and Acworih, and joined the Wading Street at Ponte* 
fract; and a idcinal way appears to haTO passed through Pontefract, in -a 
Bouth^ly direction, to the villages of Darrington, Wentbridge, Smeaton, 
Campsall, and Hatfield. Thero was also a road from Manchester, by Cam- 
bodnnum, Wakefield, and the Street-houses. A Eoman military way ran 
from Yoik to Derventio, near Stamford Bridge, whero it divided into two 
branches, the one leading to Dnnsley Bay, the Dunns Sinus of Ptolemy ; and 
the other to Scarborough and Filey. The branch leading from Stamford 
Bridge to Dunsley Bay is now called Wade's Causeway, and is supposed to 
have derived its name from the Sason Duke, Wada, who is said to have re- 
dded at a castle near the coast Drake, in his Histoiy of York, tells us that 
he ''had his first intelligence of this road, and the camp upon it, from T. 
Robinson, Esq., of Pickering, a gentleman well versed in this kind of 
learning.** Mr. HinderweU, on the authority of Mr. Robert King (who dis- 
covered the vestiges of the Dunus Sinus road, in the fields near the village 
of Broughton, where eleven Roman urns wero dug up in making fences for 
the enclosure, and the stones of the road have been frequently ploughed up), 
gives a clearer idea of this highway, in the following passage : — " Thero was 
also another Roman road which passed westward, through the range of towns 
called Street towns, viz: — Appleton-le-Street, Barton-le-Street, <fec. The 
great Roman road, or Ermine Street, continues by the town of Barugh, and 
not tax from Thornton and Risborough, to the barrows near the little village of 
Cawtfaom, or Coldthom, whero thero is a small spring; and a house in the 
village still retains the name of Bibo, supposed to be derived firom having 
been a drinking house of the soldiers from the barrow camps. Hence the 
road proceeds to Stopebeck, which it crosses in the line of the Egton road, 
and then continues, at a small distance from that road, to a stone cross, called 
Malo Cross, which it passes at about the distance of forty yards on the west 
of the cross. It then runs northward to Keys*bec, which it crosses about 


sixty yards east of the Egton road, and pursues the northern direction, until 
it crosses Wheeldale-bec, at the point of junction of that bee and Keys-bee, 
whence it proceeds by the Hunt-house to July or Julius Park, to the ancient 
castle of Mulgrave, situate near Dunua Sinus, or Dunsley Bay, in the neigh- 
bourhood of Whitby, where several Roman urns have been found."* 

Another Roman road ran from York to Bridlington Bay or Filey. This 
celebrated bay is called by Ptolemy Gabrandtovicorum Sinus Tortuosus, or 
Salutaris. From it a Roman ridge, commonly called the Dykes, is apparent 
for many miles over the Wolds, directing in a straight line for York. The 
late Sir Christopher Sykes discovered a vestige of this road at Sledmere, in 
levelling a high bank, forming one side of the Slade near the Mere. " The 
workmen came upon a very distinct layer of smaU gravelly stones, at almost 
two feet six inches from the surface, laid in a convex form, nine feet wide, 
and six or seven inches thick, in the direction of a line between York and 
Hunmanby ; but after it ascends the hill from Sledmere, it is more in the 
form of an intrenchment than a road, and has probably been used at different 
periods for both purposes."! Drake traces this road from Sledmere, by 
Wharram-en-le-Street and Settrington, to Malton and York. 

There was a Roman way from York to the Praetorium of Antoninus, which 
Camden places at Patrington. Drake fixes the first military station from 
York, on this road, at DerverUio, or Stainsfordburgh, now called Stamford 
Bridge, and the next station at Delgovwia, now Londesborough. From the 
latter station, part of the Ermine Street, called Humber Street, ran south to 
the village of Brough (ad PetuariumJ, on the Humber ; and from the station 
ad Abum on the opposite side (Wintringham), was continued to lAndum, 
now Lincoln. 

The great military road fix^m York to Lincoln, as marked out in the fifth 
and eighth iter of Antoninus, was by Danum, (Doncaster), and crossed the 
Trent at Littleborough, the ancient ArgoUcum. Thus did the military roads 
converge in every direction from the extremities of the province to Eboracum^ 
or York, their common centre. 

Roman Stations, — Besides the great Roman station of Eboracum, or Ebu- 
racum, at York, this county contained also in the West Riding, the stations 
of Isurium, at Aldborough ; Legiolum, near the junction of the rivers Aire 
and Calder ; Danum, at Doncaster ; Olicana, at Bkley ; and Cambodtmum, 
at Almondbury, near Huddersfield. The stations in the North Riding were 
those of Cataractonium, at Catterick ; and Derventio, at Stamford Bridge, or 

• HinderweU'8 Hist Soarb. pp. 19, 20. f Allen's Hist Yorks. p. U. 


at Alby, or Aldby, a mile farther northward ; and in the East Riding, Petu- 
{urioy at Beverley, or Brough ; DelgovUia, at Londesborough ; and Pratorium, 
at Patrington. 

Traces of Raman Encampments are found in several places, and will be 
noticed under their proper heads in this work. (For a further account of 
Soman Btmains, see tlie History of York, at subsequent pages, J 

AHer the Romans had vacated Britain, the country sunk into a state of 
anarchy, barbaroos nations invading it frequently, and civil wars prevailing 
more and more among the Britons themselves, so that it lay for some time, 
as it were, without blood or spirit, and without any face or appearance of 
goTemment. While under the dominion of the Romans, England and Wales 
contained thirty CivitcUeSf or Seigniories, governed by their own magis- 
trates; and it is supposed that the Britons, when left to themselves, 
establisihed the same number of republics. But civil discord very soon 
established military tyrannies; and to aggravate these evils, the Picts and 
Scots were continually renewing their attacks on the divided Britons. In a 
few years eveiy trace of popular government had vanished, and the ambition, 
the wars, and the vices of the petty chieftains, or Kings of Britain, together 
with the frequent incursions of the above-named depredators, inflicted on 
the country more permanent and extensive injuries than had ever been suf- 
fered from the incursions of foreign enemies. In the north, district after 
distzict became the scene of devastation at the hands of the northern tribes ; 
and the approach of danger admonished the more southern Britons to pro- 
vide for their own safety. Vortigem, the most powerful of the British Kings, 
leaniing that a Saxon squadron of three chiules, or long ships, was cruising in 
the channel in quest of adventures, under the command of the brothers 
Hengist and Horsa, hastened to solicit their assistance in banishing the 
northern invaders. The Saxon chiefs eagerly accepted the invitation of the 
British Prince to aid in fighting his battles, and depend for their reward on 
his gratitude. 

The Saxons were confederated tribes, consisting of the Angles, the Jutes, 
and the genuine Saxons, who had long been settled on the shores of the 
German Ocean, and extended from the Eyder to the Rhine. They were a 
bold and warlike people, trained to arms from their boyhood, and whose only 
profession was pillage by land and piracy by sea. Their whole time was 
devoted to indolence and to rapine. Every warrior attached himself to the 


fortunes of some favourite chieftain, whom he followed in his piratical expe- 
dition ; whilst the culture of their lands, and the care of their flocks, were 
consigned to the women and slaves. 

Zosimus tell us, that they were in general a warlike nation; and were 
looked upon to be the most valiant of all the Grermans, both for greatness of 
mind, strength of body, and a hardy constitution. Marcellinus observes, that 
the Romans dreaded them above all others, because their motions were always 
sudden ; and Orosius says, that " for their courage and activity they were 
terrible." They were eminent for their tallness, symmetiy of parts, and 
exactness of features. Wittichindus, a monk, has left us this description of 
them, ''the Franks were amazed to see men of such vast bodies, and so great 
souls. They wondered at their strange habit and armour, at their hair 
hanging down upon their shoulders, and above all, at liieir courage and 

Sidonius, the eloquent Bishop of Clermont, in describing these barbarians, 
says, ''We have not a more cruel and more dangerous enemy than the 
Saxons. They overcome all who have courage to oppose them. They sur- 
prise all who are so imprudent as not to be prepared for their attack. When 
they pursue they in&llibly overtake; when they are pursued, their escape is 
certain. They despise danger ; they are inured to shipwreck ; they are eager 
to purchase booty with the peril of their lives. Tempests, which to others 
are so dreadful, to them are subjects of joy. The storm is their protection 
when they are pressed by the enemy, and a cover for their operations when 
they meditate an attack. Before they quit their own shores, they devote to 
the altars of their Gods the tenth part of the principal captives; and when 
they are on the point of returning, the lots are ciust with an affectation of 
equity, and Ihe impious vow is fulfilled." 

The Saxons, according to Lingard, were invited to Britain by Vortigem in 
the year 449. Ancient writers, however, are at variance respectbig the exact 
year; "but," writes Camden, "at what time soever they came over, it is 
certain they showed wonderful cotirage, and this tempered with great pru- 
dence; for in a short time they became so considerable, both for numbers, 
discipline, and conquests, that they were in a most prosperous and powerful 
condition, and their victory in a manner enim and absolute." All they 
conquered, excqpt some few who took refuge in the uncultivated western 
parts, yielded, and became one nation, and embraced their laws, name, and 

Such is the character of the auxiliaries invited by Vortigem to resist the 
invaders. For six years they served him with fidelity, but the Picts and 


Soots were no sooner driven bock to their native hills, than the Saxons, in 
their greedy desire to possess the fertile country for which they had been 
fighting, obtained large reinforcements &om their own country, and turned 
their snrords upon the Britons, who made an obstinate resistance, in which 
they fought many great battles under Yortigem and the renowned King 

The Piets and Soots having succeeded in subduing all the country north of 
the Humber, and in rendering York littie short of a heap of ruins ; Hengist, 
the Saxon general, attacked and defeated them with great slaughter near the 
city. Ajft^ rescuing York, and all the country south of the river Tees, and, 
as has just been observed, banishing the invaders to their native moun- 
tains, the Saxons received large reinforcements, and attacked the Britons. 
Several bloody battles were fought, and Kent was conquered by Hengist. 
Sach is the account given by the Saxon Chronicle ; but the British writers 
teil a different tale. They attribute the loss of Kent to the infatuation of 
Vortagem and the treacherous policy of Hengist. They tell us that the 
Britidi Song having become enamoured of the beautiful Rowena, daughter 
of Hengist, divorced his Queen, took the former to his bed, and bestowed on 
his father-in-law the kingdom of Kent. The Britons being satisfied that the 
Saxons intended to settle in this country, sent for Aurelius Ambrosius, Prince 
of Armorica, who is described as of Boman origin, the son of parents who 
had worn the purple, and a brave and unassuming warrior, to assist in de- 
lending them. " Hengist hearing of their embassy,'* says Allen, '' privately 
sent his sons Ochta and Abisa to secure all the northern fortresses; who, 
stnctly obserting their fiEither^s instructions, feigned accusations against many 
of the leading characters at York and its vicinity, charging them with a 
design ot betraying their countrymen into the hands of those enemies whom 
the Saxons had defeated ; and imder this pretence put many of them to 
death, some secretly, others openly, as actually convicted of the treasons laid 
to their charge.**'*' 

Yortimer, the son. of Yortigem, now placed himself at the head of the 
Britons, attacked the Saxons before the arrival of Ambrosius, and defeated 
them in fovuT successive battles. Shordy afterwards Ambrosius arrived, and 
slew Hengist in an obstinate and bloody battie at the village of Gonings- 
borou^ about five miles from Doncaster. His two sons, Ochta and Abisa, 
fled with the shattered remains of their army; the former to York, and the 
latter to Aldborough, but they were quickly pursued by Ambrosius, to whom 

• Allsn's Hist Torks., p. 21. 


they surrendered, and by whom they were pardoned. According to Gildas, 
Ambrosiua perished in a domestic quarrel with Guitolin. Uter, sumamed 
Pendragon, succeeded his brother Ambrosius as sovereign, in 490. Ochta 
and Abisa soon after revolted, and wasted all the country from the borders of 
Scotland to York, which city they infested. The British King defeated them 
in battle, and took them prisoners. At the early age of eighteen, Arthur 
ascended the throne of Britain; and the Saxons taking advantage of his 
youth, made an attempt upon his kingdom. Ochta and Abisa, having 
escaped from tlieir captivity, fled home, and returning with a powerful army, 
again conquered the northern parts of the kingdom, which they divided into 
two sections, or kingdoms ; the northern portion, which was situated north 
of the Roman wall, was called Bemida, and its capital was Bamburgh ; and 
the more southern, Diefyr, or Deira,* of which York was the capital. Arthur, 
notwithstanding his youth, attacked the two brothers, and defeated them in 
several battles ; and the following summer he gained a decisive victory over 
the Saxons, slaying 90,000 of them on Mount Badon,t including all the 
Saxon generals, and the flower of their army. The city of York was de- 
livered up to him immediately on his approach. 

After all his conquests this renowned monarch was slain in a rebellion of 
his own subjects, and by the hands of his own nephew, in 542. Though 
some writers assign dates to the exploits of this great chieftain, who is said 
to have fought and to have gained twelve battles ; yet Dr. Lingard says res- 
pecting him, " if we divest his memory of that fictitious glory, which has 
been thrown round it by the imagination of the bards and minstrels, he will 
sink into equal obscurity with his fellows. We know neither the period 
when he lived, nor the district over which he reigned. * * * Perhaps 
when the reader has been told," continues the same author, " that Arthur 
was a British chieftain, that he fought many battles, that he was murdered 
by his nephew, and was buried at Glastonbury, whero his remains were dis- 
covered in the reign of Henry 11., he will have learned all that can be 
ascertained at the present day, respecting that celebrated warrior."+ The 
manner of the discovery of his remains is said to be as follows : — King Henry 
U., whilst in Wales, heard an ancient song of the martial de€ds of Arthur, 
accompanied with the music of the harp, in which it was declared that 
Glastonbury was the place of his burial. Henry repaired to the spot, and 

• The kingdom of Deira comprehended Yorkshire, Durham, Lancashire, Westmor- 
land, portions of Northumberland, and Cumberland. 

f Badon has been generally supposed to have been the city of Bath. 
} lingard's Hist. Bng. vol. i, pp. 71, 72, fcap. 8vo. 


having ordered the groond in the church jaxd, between two pyramids, to he 
excavated, at the depth of seven feet a broad stone was discovered, to which 
was fastened a leaden cross, with this inscription in rude characters : — Hie 
Jaeet MepuJUus Rex Arturius in Inaulm AvaUmia, Nine feet deeper, we are 
told, his body was found, enclosed in the trunk of a tree hollowed for that 
pupose. Arthur must have been a powerful man, for the chroniclers of the 
discovery of his remains assert that his shin bone being set on the ground 
reached up to the middle of the thigh of a tall man ; and that the space of 
his forehead between his eyes was a span broad. His Queen, Guenhera, 
whom he had married at York, had been buried near him ; and both their 
bones were, by order of the Abbot Stephen, translated into the great church, 
and there royally interred under a marble tomb. The time of King Arthur 
is generally supposed to be from the year 506 to 542. 

Dissensions having arisen and become multipHed among the British 

Princes, the Saxons gained an entire conquest over all the Britons, save a 

miserable remnant that would not submit to their yoke, and who sought 

shelter in the Cambrian mountains, where their posterity, according to Welsh 

history, have ever since remained. 

The conquest of the northern part of the country by the Saxon chieftains 
-was not achieved until the year 547, that is 98 years after the arrival of 
Hengist and Horsa in Britain. 

Besides England, the Saxons possessed themselves of the greater part of 
Scotland, and the Highlanders, who are the true Scots, call them Sassons to 
this day. The name of England was established in a.d. 800, when Egbert 
assumed the sovereign authority. Several of the counties are mentioned 
before the extinction of the Saxon Heptarchy, the smaller provinces or king- 
doms of which became counties, as Kent, Sussex, Surrey, and Essex. 
Hampshire, Somersetshire, Wiltshire, and Berkshire (portions or shires of 
the kingdom of Wessex) are mentioned before the accession of King Alfred, 
A.i>. 871; Devon and Cornwall about the same time; Gloucestershire soon 
after, and most of the other counties from north to south are named in 
history previous to the Norman conquest, where they use the same language 
with us, only varying a little in the dialect. And this language we and they 
kept in a manner uncomipted, together with the kingdom, for 1,150 years. 
Notwithstanding the primitive barbarism of the Saxons,*' writes Oliver, 
'they are the people of whom we have the greatest reason to be proud. The 
Bomans introduced into this island the arts of civilization, and the comforts 
of domestic life, but the Saxons did more. They not only gave to this 
kingdom salutary laws, by which the rights and liberties of its inhabitants 



were defined and made secure, but they laid the foundation on which the 
flEibrie of our glorious constitution is built; and by the union of wisdom and 
piety, they succeeded in gradually forming the minds and manners of society 
to an intercourse of superior polish, and conducive to the best interests of 
morality and virtue."* 

The Hdigion of the Saxons, which was a more barbarous superstition than 
that of Druidism, which it superseded, prevailed till nearly the close of the 
sixth century. It was chiefly founded on traditional tales received from their 
fathers, not reduced to any system. The votive sacrifices of the Britons 
were addressed to Hu, the god of peace, but those of the Saxons were 
chiefly offered up to Mercury, whom they called Woden, and upon whom they 
looked as the deity of war, and the ancestor of their princes. His sacrifices 
were men, and the day consecrated to him was the fourth of the week, which 
we therefore at this day call Wednesday. They believed that if they could 
only propitiate this deity by their valour, they should be admitted after 
death into his hall, and there repose on couches, and satiate themselves with 
strong drink from the sculls of their enemies whom they had killed in 
battle. The sixth day they consecrated to Venus, whom they called Frea 
and Frico, firom whence we call that day Friday; as Tuesday is derived from 
Tuisco, the founder of the German nation; and Sunday, Monday, and 
Saturday, from the gods Sunnan, Monan, and Seater, to whom those days 
were dedicated. Thor, whom they looked upon as another powerful god, they 
took to be the ruler of the air, and to him they dedicated the fifth day of the 
week, or Thursday, and they had also a goddess called Foster, to whom they 
sacrificed in the month of April ; which, observes Bede, they call Foster 
Monarth, and we at this day call the paschal feast Easter, Besides being 
idolatrous, they were likewise strangely superstitous. Camden tells us that 
they much used the casting of lots. After cutting a branch from some fruit 
tree, they divided it into little slips; each of which they distinguished by 
certain marks, and then cast them promiscuously upon a white cloth. If 
the consultation was upon public affiiirs, the priest, but if upon private, the 
head of the family, after worshipping the gods, took each of the pieces up 
three several times, and then gave an interpretation according to the mark 
set upon them. To foretell the events of war, they used to take a captive of 
the nation against which their design was, and compel him to fight a duel 
with one of their own country, and by the issue of this, they concluded which 
side woidd conquer. 

• Histoiy of Beverley, p. 39. 


The Saxon reiigion remained in the ascendant throughout the greater part 
of Britain for more than a centoiy, and the first hlow which it sustained, 
irms inflicted hj Pope Gregory the Great, about the year 597. " This excellent 
personage sustained a character of much estimation, both as an ecclesiastic 
and a poUtician ; and ample justice has been done to his merits, as well by 
Mb cotemporaries, as by succeeding generations. To his extraordinary zeal 
and persererance, the Anglo-Saxons were most essentially indebted for their 
ocmverBion from the hoirible system of idol worship ; and the whole tenor of 
his conduct, with few exceptions, was exemplary as a Christian Bishop. He 
was a gentleman by birth, education, and manners ; being nobly descended, 
and the great grandson of a Pope.* His distinguished talents had been im- 
proved in the best manner of the times ; and he devoted his earlier sendees 
to the public, in a civil station, as Governor of Rome. Early in the prime 
of his days he formed an irresistible bias towards monastic retirement How 
weQ calculated soever he might have been for civil employments, to which 
his indncements were more numerous and weighty, he voluntarily relinquished 
the splendid offisrs of ambition, and attached himself solely to tbexalm pur- 
soztB of learning and rdigion* His paternal fortune, which was very con- 
sideraUe, he distributed with a liberal hand amongst his kindred, and, with 
the small remains of his property, he built and endowed churches and 
monasteries. His gradations, fixnn monkish seclusion to the papal throne, 
were few, but honourable to himself, and beneficial to those who employed 

Before his pontifieate he had desired to come over to Britain, and obtained 
permisnon from the reigning Pope, but was prevented by the people with 
whom he was very popular, and who would not suffer him to leave Rome. 
This undertafciBg he had always at heart, and it rose from the following in- 
cident: — ^Passing through the maiket-plaoe at Rome, sometime before his 
elevation to the papal throne, he saw some Saxon youths firom Britain ex- 
posed for sale, whom their mercenary parents had sold to the Roman 
merchants, according to the custom of all the Teutonic peoples.} We are 
told, that stmek with their fine foatores and fair complexion, he enquired the 
name of the country which could produce such perfect specimens of the 
hmnan fiame, and was answered that they came from Britain. Finding 
diat tbej were still heathens, he sighed deeply, and said, " it is a lamentable 

that the Prince of Darkness should be master of so much 

• Felix n., who died kJ>. 492, the 47th Bishop of Borne, 
t History of Beverly, by Bev. O. Oliver, p. 82. * Malmsbuiy historian, i, e. 8. 


beauty, and have so many comely persons in his possession ; and that so 
fine an outside should have nothing of God's grace to furnish it within." 
Bede adds, that he again asked, what was the name of that nation, and 
being told that they were called Angli or Angles, "Right," said he, "for 
they have angelical faces, and it becomes such to be companions with the 
angels in heaven." " What is the name of the province from which they 
are brought," continued he, and upon being told it was Deira, a district of 
Northumbria, " Truly, Deira, because they are withdrawn from wrath, and 
called to the mercy of Christ," said he, alluding to the Latin De ira Dei 
eruti, " What is the name of the King of that province ?" EUa or AUa, 
was the reply. " Alleluia," cried he, " the praise of God, the creator, must 
be sung in those parts." 

Soon after his elevation to the pontifical chair, in 590, he turned his 
thoughts to this abandoned part of the vineyard, and dispatched his Mend 
Austin, or Augustine, the superior of his own monastery, with forty other 
zealous monks, to spread the truths of the gospel in Britain ; and by their 
preaching, the Christian religion made such rapid progress that it soon 
became the prevailing faith of the country, and Augustine was created Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, in the year 600, and Paulinus, another Roman mis- 
sionary. Archbishop of York, in 628. So great was the crowd of converts 
to Christianity, that Paulinus is said to have baptized 10,000 persons in one 
day in the river Swale, in Yorkshire.'*' 

The English no sooner received the truths of Christianity, than with a 
most fervent zeal they gave up themselves to it, and employed their best en- 
deavours to promote it, by discharging aU the duties of Christian piety, and 
by erecting churches and monasteries, so that no part of the Christian world 
could either show more or richer religious establishments. So many persons, 
eminent for sanctify, did it produce, that England was justly styled the 
Island of Saints. 

The Saxon conquerors divided Britain into seven portions or kingdoms, 
since called the Heptarchy, over each of which a monarch presided. They 
lived for a long time in a flourished condition under their Heptarchy, till at 

* Speed Brit, p. 313. Camden says, that the Bishop, after having consecrated fhe 
Swale, commanded that they should go in two by two and baptise each other in the 
name of the Holy Trinity. Thia feat was performed at Belperby. The river Swale was 
held sacred by the Saxons, and termed the Jordan of England on account of this won- 
derflil baptism by St. Paolinus. The same escploit is related of St Augustine, and both 
the rivers are called Swale, though the one runs into the Thames, and the other into 



length, as we shall see, all the other kingdoms, shattered with civil wars, 
were subdued to that of the West Saxons; and, Egbert, the ambitious 
monarch of that kingdom, united them, and published an edict, ordering 
the whole Heptarchy to be called EtigleUmd, i. e., The Latid of the Angles, 

Camden gives the following Chorographical table of the Saxon Hef« 
tabchy: — 

1. — ^The Kingdom of Kent 

2.— >The Kingdom of the 
South SaxoM contained 

3. — ^The Kingdom of the 
East Angles contained 


4. — ^The Kingdom of the 
West Saxons contained 

5. — ^The Kingdom of Nor- 
thumberland contained 

0.— The Kingdom of the 
East Saxons contained 


7.— The Kingdom otMercia 

The Ck)unty of 
The Counties of 

The Counties of 

The Counties of 

The Counties of 


> The Counties of -* 

*- The Counties of « 



Cambridge, with the 
Isle of Ely» 

^ Berks. 

r Lancaster. 





Scotland to the 
Frith of Edin- 


Middlesex, and part 

r Gloucester. 
















Chester, and the 
other parts o/Hert- 
L fordshire. 



Under the Heptarchy York was the capital of the kingdom of Northum- 
brian or Northumberland,'!' and its first Saxon King was Ida, of whom 
William of Malmsbury writes thus, "The most noble Ida, in the full vigour 
of life and strength, reigned in Northumbria. But whether he himself seized 
the chief authority, or received it by consent of others, I by no means 
venture to determine, because the truth is unrevealed." 

Ida died in a.d. 559, and on his death-bed he divided his dominions 
between his two sons; giving the part called Deira to Ella, or Alia; and 
Bemicia to Adda. It was during this reign that some youths, earned from 
this country for sale to Rome, attracted the attention of Gregory, a monk, 
afterwards Pope, and which circumstance was in some measure connected 
with the re-introduction of the truths of Christianity into Britain, as already 
related. Ella, the first Anglo-Saxon King of Deira, left at his death his son 
named Edwin, an infant of three yeai's old, for his successor. Ethelfrith, or 
Ethelfrid, a grandson of Ida, soon after succeeded to the throne of Bemicia, 
and after rendering himself formidable to all his neighbours, particularly the 
Picts, Scots, and Welsh, he invaded Deira, from whence he expelled the 
infemt E^ng, and united that kingdom to his own dominions. Edwin was 
carried to North Wales, and educated by Cadvan, a Prince of that countiy. 
For the space of 27 years Edwin wandered, a fugitive Prince, through the 
different kingdoms of the Heptarchy without being able to recover his pater- 
nal dominions, or even to find a secure asylum, as the power of Ethelfritli 
deterred the Saxon Princes from provoking his resentment .by protecting a 
forlorn orphan. At length, at the age of 30 years, his many excellent 
qualities, and majestic deportment, gained him the favour of Eedwald, King 
of East Anglia, and his royal consort; and for a short period he enjoyed, at 
the East Anglian court, the sweets of tranquility and repose. 

The consequence of this generous act of hospitality on the part of Redwald, 
were two hard-fought battles with the tyrant Ethelfrith, in the latter of which 
victory was declared in favour of the East Anglians, the Northumbrians 
having thrown down their arms, and betaken themselves to flight. Kedwald 
advanced into Northumbria without opposition ; the three sons of the usurper, 
Eanfrid, Oswald, and Oswy, having fled into Scotland, and the Northum- 
brians submitted to Redwald, who not only restored Edwin to the throne of 
Deira, his patrimonial inheritance, but also gave him the kingdom of 

"Edwin obtained the kingdoms of Deira and Bemicia in 617," writes 

• The kingdom of Northamberland was so called from its situation north of the 
river Humber — the land north of the Humber. 


Alien, "and in 634 he acquired, though not without much opposition, a de- 
cided pre-eminence over the other Princes of the Heptarchy, and assumed the 
title of monarch of the Anglo-Saxons, which Redwald had enjoyed during his 
life. He claimed an ahsolute authority over the other Kings ; and hy an 
ensign carried hefore in the form of a globe, as a symbol of the union of the 
Heptarchial goyemment in his person, he gave tliem to understand that he 
was not only their head but their master. '> 

£dwin now demanded in marriage Ethelburgha, daughter of the late 
Ethelbert, the first Christian Eingf of the English, and sister of Ebald, 
Eadbald, or Ethelbald, King of Kent, a Princess of great beauty and virtue ; 
but his proposal met with a refusal which he, then in the acme of his power, 
had not expected. She was a Christian, and he yet an idolater. She would 
not renounce her £uih for the splendour of a throne; nor would she become 
the consort of Edwin, unless she might be allowed the free exercise of her 
own religion. Edwin submitted to this, and Ethelburgha brought with her 
Paulinas, a Roman Missionary and Christian Bishop, as well as Christian 
attendants. On Easter eve, in 626, the Queen was delivered of a daughter; 
and on Easter day an assassin, named Eumer, sent by Quichelm, King of 
the West Saxons, being admitted into the presence of King Edwin, attempted 
to stab him with a poisoned dagger. He would have certainly killed him, if 
liDa, his favourite and faithful minister, had not, for want of a buckler, inter- 
posed his own body, and so saved the King's life with the loss of his own. 
The dagger wounded the King through the body of his officer. The ruffian 
was cut to pieces upon the spot, but not before he had killed another of the 
courtiers. The King returned thanks to the Gods for his preservation ; but 
Paulinus told him it was the effect of the prayers of his Queen, and exhorted 
him to thank the true God, for his merciful protection of his person, and for 
her safe delivery. The King was pleased with this discourse, and soon after 
he began to examine the subject of religion. He consented that his infant 
daughter should be consecrated to God, and she was baptized on Whit-Sunday, 
and called Eanfleda, being the first fruits of the kingdom of Northumbria. 
These things happened in the royal residence upon the Derwent, says Bede; 
that is, near the Roman station Derventius, or Derventio, mentioned by 

• Allen's Hist. Yorks., p. 28. 

* Aooording to Camden, the word "King** is derived fh>m the Saxon Cyning, or 
Canynff, which signifies the same; and that from can, "power," or ken, "knowledge,*' 
wherewith every monarch is supposed to be invested. The Latin rex, the Scythian reix, 
the Pmuc pedch, the Spanish rey, and the French roy, came all, according to Postel, 
from the Hebrew nueh, " chief head." 


Antonius, iu his Itinerary of Britain. The place is near to Stamford Bridge, 
and is now cailed Aldby, tliat is, Old Dwelling; and near to it Camden 
noticed the rums of an old castle. 

The King moreover promised Paulinus, that if God restored him his 
health, and made him victorious over those who had conspired so basely to 
take away his life, he would become himself a Christian. When his wound 
was healed, he assembled his army, marched against the King of the West 
Saxons, vanquished him in the field, and either slew or took prisoners all 
the authors of the wicked plot of liis assassination. From this time he no 
more worshipped idols; yet he deferred to accomplish his promise of re- 
ceiving baptism. Paulinus continued to exhort him, and to pray earnestly 
for his conversion ; and Edwin was willingly instructed in the faith, often 
meditated on it by himself, and consulted with the wisest among his great 
officers. Pope Boniface sent him an exhortatory letter, witli presents; and a 
silver looking-glass and an ivory comb to his Queen. At length a day was 
appointed when the subject of religion was to be discussed in the presence oi 
the court ; Paulinus was to point out the evidences of Christianity, whilst 
Coefi, or, as it is written by Bede in the Northumbrian dialect, Coifi, Edwin's 
high priest, was to defend the idolatry of his fathers. The result of this 
discussion was that Coifi, the high priest of the idols, declared that by expe- 
rience it was manifest that their Gods had no power, and he advised the 
King to command fire to be set to the pagan temples and altars. The King 
asked him who should first profane them. Coifi answered that he, himself, 
who had been the foremost in their worship, ought to do it for an example to 
others. Then he desired to be furnished with arms and a horse; for, 
according to their superstition, it was not lawful for the high priest to bear 
any arms, or to ride on a horse, but only a mare. Being thereupon mounted 
on the King's own horse, with a sword by his side, and a spear in his hand, 
he rode to the temple, which he profaned by casting his spear into it He 
then commanded those that accompanied him to pull it down, and bum it. 
The parish church of Godmanham now occupies the site of this temple. 
Tliis place, says Bede, the venerable patriarch of Saxon history, writing in 
731, is to the east of York, beyond the Derwent, and is called Godmmiding- 
ham. It retains to this day the name of Godmanham. Mr. Wright, in 
his Wanderings of an Antiquary, recently published, thinks it possible 
that Londesborough, in the East Riding, may have been the site of King 
Edwin's residence, that place being but one mile distant from the Pagan 

On Easter Day (Apiil 12th, 627), King Edwin and several of his nobles 


were baptized by PauUnus at York, in a small wooden church or oratory, 
hastily erected, and dedicated to St. Peter. Edwin afterwards began a large 
church of stone, in which this was enclosed, and which was finished by St. 
Oswald, one of his successors. Paulinus fixed his episcopal See at York, with 
the approbation of King Edwin, and continued to preach freely during the 
remaining six years of this Prince's reign. The people flocked in crowds to 
receiye the sacrament of baptism, and, as we have seen at pages 28 and 80, 
the good Bishop baptized them in multitudes in the rivers. When the King 
and Queen were at their country palace of Yeverin, in Glendale, among the 
Bemicians in Northumberland, the Bishop was occupied 36 days together, 
horn morning till night, in instructing persons, and baptizing them in the 
little river Glen. When Paulinus was with the court in the country of the 
Deiri he baptized in the river Swale, near Catterick. Edwin built a church 
near this place in honour of St. Alban, from which a new town arose, which 
was called Albansbury, and since Almondbury. The royal palace at that 
place was burnt by the pagans after the death of King Edwin. His succes- 
sors had their country palace in the territory of Loidis, or Leeds, where a 
town of that name was afterwards built. 

Edwin's reign, of 17 years, is the brightest in the annals of the Heptarchy. 
He reclaimed his subjects from the licentious life to which they had been 
accustomed, and was distinguished for his strict and impartial administration 
of justice. It was proverbial in his reign that a woman or child might 
openly carry from sea to sea a purse of gold without any danger of violence 
OT robbery. As no inns or houses of public entertainment existed in those 
days, and as travelling was difficult and tedious, he caused stakes to be fixed 
in the highways near unto clear springs, and brazen dishes to be chained to 
them, to refresh the weary sojourner, whose fatigues Edwin had himself 
experienced. The English enjoyed so perfect tranquillity and security 
throughout the dominions of King Edwin, that his peace was proverbial. 
And his Christian virtues were very remarkable. He was equally zealous to 
practice himself, and to propagate on all sides the maxims and truths of 
Christianity. Indeed the English nation generally received the faith with a 
fervour equal to that of the primitive Christians; and Kings, who frequently 
find the greatest obstacles to virtue, often set their subjects the strongest 
examples of the most heroic virtues. Several monarchs exchanged their 
purple and sceptres for hair cloth, their palaces for poor mean cells, and 
their power and command for the humility of obedience. After ha>dng spent 
flix years in the practice of the Christian virtues, God was pleased to visit 
him with afflictions to raise him to the glory of martyrdom. 


Penda, the pagan King of Mercia, united with Ceadwalla, King of Gwynez 
or North Wales, to destroy all the English Christians. Edwin met them at 
a place afterwards called Hevenfield'*' (now Heathfield or Hatfield), a village 
seven miles from Doncaster, and in a most bloody battle, fought October 
12th, 633, lost his crown and life, in the 48th year of his age.f His head 
was buried in the porch of the church he had built at York, and the re- 
mainder of his body was deposited in the Abbey of Whitby. 

The victors now at the head of a vast army, ravaged the kingdom of the 
Northumbers, and York, its capital, in a most barbarous manner. His only 
son, Osfhd, being slain with his father, Osric and Eanfrid, the two nearest 
relatives of Edwin, were chosen Kings of Deira and Bemicia; but the former 
was defeated and slain in battle by the Welsh King, and his brother Eanfrid 
was cruelly and treacherously put to death by Ceadwalla at York, in 634, 
though he came to that city with only twelve attendants, for the purpose of 
treating for peace. Osric and Eanfrid had formerly received baptism, the 
former from Paulinus, and the latter from the monks of St Columba, at 
Icolmkill; but each relapsed into the errors of paganism. The indignant 
piety of the Northumbrians expunged the names of these apostate Princes 
from the catalogue of their Kings, and the time in which they reigned was 
distinguished in their annals by the expressive term, " The unhappy year." 

Oswald, the younger of the sons of Ethelfirid, and nephew of Edwin, whose 
sister Acca was his mother, was called to the united throne of the Northum- 
bers in 635. This Prince, who had in the preceding reign fled to Scotland, 
and embraced Christianity whilst in exile, assembled a small but valiant 
army, and marched into Northumberland against Ceadwalla, who had laid 
waste the country with fire and sword as far as the Picts' wall. Oswald gave 
the tyrant battle at a place called by Bede, Denisbum, that is the brook 
Denis, adjoining the Picts* wall on the north side, and gained a complete 
victory; Ceadwalla (who used to boast that he had been bom for the exter- 
mination of the Angles), with the greater part of his army being slain on the 

Having thus firmly established himself on the Northumbrian throne, 
Oswald set himself to restore good order throughout his dominions, and to 
plant in them the faith of Christ. He entreated the King and Bishops of 
Ireland, then called Scotia, to send him a Bishop and assistants, by whose 

* This name was given to it on account of the great number of ChristianB there slain 
in this engagement. 

i On St. Edwin see Bede Hist i. ii., c. 9, 10, 12, 15, 20. 


preaching the people whom he governed might be grounded in the Christian 
religion, and receive baptism. Aidan, a monk of the celebrated monastery of 
Hy, — a man no less venerable for his virtues, than eminent for his learning, 
— was chosen for this great and arduous undertaking. The King bestowed 
on Aidan the Isle of Lindisfame, since called Holy Island, for his episcopal 
seat, and thus was founded that ancient See which was afterwards removed 
to Doiham, By the great labours of Aidan, aided by the piety and munifi- 
cence of Oswald, Christianity was firmly established, and maintained its 
influence amid all the wars and revolutions which succeeded. Oswald filled 
his dominions with churches and monasteries; and his own virtues were so 
great and numerous, that many years after his death they procured for him 
the honour of canonization. 

During eight years Oswald reigned in such prosperity, that the Welsh, the 
Picts, and the Scots are said to have paid him tribute. But the fate of 
Edwin awaited Oswald. During a progress which he made in Shropshire, 
attended but by a few firiends besides his domestic servants; Penda, the 
baxbarous Eing of the Mercians, who envied the greatness of Oswald, and 
detested his religion — and who nine years before had slain the pious King 
£dwin — secretely raised an army, and endeavoured to accomplish by strata- 
gem and surprise, what he dare not attempt in open battle. The treacherous 
and cowardly wretch fiercely assaulted and killed Oswald at Masserfield, since 
called Oswestry, or Oswaltre, that is Oswald*s Cross, about seven miles from 
Shrewsbuiy; and he had the ferocity to cause the head and limbs to be 
severed from the trunk, and fixed on high poles driven in the ground as 
trophies of his yictory,* This treacherous act was performed on the 5th of 
August, 64d. Penda afterwards ravaged Northumbria, but the royal castle 
of Bebbaborough (Bamborough, in Northumberland) was the first place that 
yentuivd to stop his destructive progress. Situated on a rock, and protected 

• Camden, Capgrave, and others think this is the place where St. Oswald was slain; 
but Alban Butler imagines the scene of his death to be Winwich, in Lancashire, which 
w«a anciently called Maserfleld, or Maserfelth, and where is a well still called St. 
Oswald's, whieh was formerly viaited oat of devotion. There are many churches in 
Kngland dedicated to God in honour of St. Oswald. The year after his martyrdom, his 
brother Oswy took his body off the poles upon which the tyrant had affixed them ; he 
MUt the head to lindisfiime, and it was afterwards put in the same shrine with the 
body of St Gttthbert, and was with it translated to Durham, as the Malmsbury hiatorian 
and others assure us. The rest of St. Oswald's body was Uien translated to the monas- 
teiy of Bardney in lineolnshire. Part of the relics were afterwards translated to the 
Abbey of Sl Winoc's Berg, in Flanders, in 1221, and deposited there with great solem. 
nity hy Adam, Bishop of Terouanne. St. Aldan, the first Bishop of lindisftme, was 
also eanonized. 


on one side by a steep ascent, and on the other side by the German Ocean, 
it bade defiance to the tyrant. But here he displayed the ferocity of his dis- 
position. By his order the neighbouring villages were demolished, every 
combustible material was collected from the ruins and reared up in an im- 
mense pile against the walls, and as soon as the wind blew fiercely towards 
the city, fire was set to the pile. But as the fire and smoke was being wafted 
over the heads of the trembling inhabitants, the wind suddenly changed, and 
the fire spent its fury in the opposite direction. Chagrined and confoundedi 
Penda raised the siege, evacuated the kingdom, and turned his arms against 
the King of East Anglia. Soon after his retreat in 648, the Northumbrian 
Thanes placed Oswy or Oswio, the brother of Oswald, on the united throne, 
but in the second year of his reign appeared a dangerous competitor of the 
house of Ella, in the person of Oswin, the son of Osric; and prudence or 
necessity induced him to consent to a compromise, and Oswin was crowned 
King of Dcira, whilst he reserved to himself Bemicia and the northern 

Oswy, who was never pleased at this division of the kingdom, afterwards 
asserted his claim to the throne of Deira, and obliged Oswin to arm in his 
own defence. According to Bede, Oswin was of a religious rather than a 
martial disposition ; and regarding it criminal to shed the blood of his sub* 
jects for the support of his throne, privately withdrew from his army, with 
the intention of taking refuge in a monastery; but before he could execute 
his design, he was betrayed to Oswy, who inhumanly murdered him in the 
hopes of more easily seizing his kingdom. The people of Deira, however, 
dreading the dominion of so cruel a Prince, immediately elected his nephew, 
Adelwald, or Odilwald, son of his brother Oswald, as their King, and thus 
was Oswy foiled in his ambition. 

Adelward commenced his reign in 653, and for three years the kingdom of 
Deira experienced an interval of peace. Oswy still persevered in his claim 
to this kingdom, and Adelwald, fearing that his uncle would seize the first 
opportunity to execute his designs, listened to a proposal of a league with the 
Kings of Mercia and East AngUa against the King of Bemicia. The Mer- 
cian King, seeing himself supported by the armies of East Anglia and Deira, 
refused every overture for peace, and Oswy was obliged to try the fortune of 
war with three powerful enemies. The nigl^t before the eventful contest he 
fervently implored the assistance of heaven, and vowed if he was victorious to 
devote his infant daughter Elfieda to the service of God in monastic seclusion. 
But while the two armies were advancing to the scene of action, Adelwald 
was forming new projects ; he wisely considered that to whichever side the 


tictoiy inclined, it would be equally dangerous to hin^, and that the ambition 
of Penda, as well as of Oswy, might hurl him from his throne. He therefore 
resolved to stand neuter during the battle, and save his own troops, in order 
to defend his dominions against the conqueror. Penda attacked the Ber- 
nicians with great impetuosity ; but as soon as the Mercians saw Adelwald 
draw off his division they suspected some treachery, and began to give way, 
and no possible effort could rally them. The Kings of Mercia and East 
^nglm were slain, and their armies routed with terrible slaughter. Thus fell 
the ciueL and treacherous Penda, after he had stained his sword with the 
blood of two Northumbrian Kings — ^Edwin and Oswald ; and three Kings of 
Cast Anglia — Sigebert, Egric, and Annas. With this hoary veteran, who 
was 80 years old, and who had reigned 30 years, fell 28 vassal chieftains, or 
conunanders of royal blood. This decisive battle wasibught at Winwidfield 
(VVinmoor), or Field of Victory, situated on the northern bank of the river 
Winwald, now Aire, near Loyd^n, now Leeds, on the 15th of November, 655. 
After the battle Oswy overran the kingdoms of the fallen monarchs, and sub- 
dued the astonished inhabitants. Mercia he divided into two portions ; the 
province on the north of the Trent he annexed to his own dominions ; those 
on the south he allowed to be governed by Peada, the son of Penda, who had 
married his daughter. But Peada soon after perished by the treachery, it is 
said, of his wife, and his territory was immediately occupied by the North- 

In fulfilment of his vow, Oswy placed his child Elfleda, who was not yet 
one year old, under the care of the Abbess Hilda at Hartlepool; and her 
dower was fixed at ISO hides of land in Bemicia, and at an equal number in 
Deinu This munificent donation enabled the sisterhood to remove their 
establishment to a more convenient situation at Whitby, where the royal nun 
liyed the space of 59 years in the practice of the monastic duties, during one 
half of which she exercised the office of Abbess. The King soon afterwards, 
stung with remorse for the murder of Oswin, founded and endowed another 
monastery at Gilling, on the very spot in which that Prince had been slain ; 
and the community of monks were bound to pray daily for the soul of the 
murdered King, and for that of the royal murderer.* Oswy had now under 
his control a greater extent of territory than had belonged to any of his pre- 
decessors ; but long before his death the tyrannical conduct of his officers 
caused the Mercians to revolt, and expel the Northumbrians ; and the sceptre 
was conferred on Wulphere, the youngest son of Penda, who had been 
anxiously concealed from the researches of Oswy. 

* Bede iiL, 24. Kennios, c. 64. 


A few years afterwards Adelwald died without issue, and Northumbria was 
again united in one kingdom under Oswy. But this re-union was of short 
duration, for Alchfrid, his eldest son, demanded a portion of the Northum- 
brian territory, with the title of King. It is not clear what means he used to 
oblige his father to give up to him the kingdom of Deira, but this is certain 
that Oswy was induced to divide with him his dominions ; and thus did he 
resign that crown which he so long and so anxiously desired to unite with 
his own. 

Christianity had now been preached in all the Saxon kingdoms except 
Sussex, but as the missionaries had come from different countries, though 
they taught the same doctrine, they disagreed in several points of ecclesias- 
tical discipline. Of these the most important regarded the canonical time 
for the celebration of Easter, a subject which had for several centuries dis- 
turbed tiie peace of the church. It was universally admitted that it depended 
on the commencement of the equinoctial lunation ; but the Roman astrono- 
mers differed from the Alexandrinian, the former contending that the 
lunation might begin as early as the 5th, whilst the latter maintained that it 
could not begin before the 8th of March. The consequence of this diversity 
of opinion was, that when the new moon fell on the 6 th, 6th, or 7th of that 
month, the Latin celebrated the feast of Easter a full lunation before the 
Greek Christians. Weary of the disputes occasioned by these computations, 
the Roman church, in the middle of the sixth century, had adopted a new 
cycle, which agreed in every important point with the Alexandrinian calcula- 
tion. But this arrangement was unknown to the British Christians, who at 
that period were wholly employed in opposing the invaders of their country ; 
and they continued to observe the ancient cycle, which was now become 
peculiar to themselves. 

Hence it occasionally happened that Easter, and the other festivals 
depending on that solemnity, were celebrated at different times by the Saxon 
Christians, according as they had been instructed by the Scottish, or by the 
Roman and Gallic missionaries; and thus did Oswy see his own family 
divided into factions, and the same festivals solemnized on different days in. 
his own palace. Wilfrid, afterwards Archbishop of York, having been in- 
structed at Rome in the discipline of the church, was requested by AlchMd, 
the son of Oswy, to instruct him and his people in ecclesiastical discipline ; 
and Oswy, desirous to end the dispute, and to procure uniformity, summoned 
tiie champions of the two parties to meet at the monastery at Streaneshalch, 
now Whitby, in 664. The Kings, Oswy and Alchfrid, were present at this 
conference. Wilfrid rested the cause of the Romans on the authority of St. 


Peter, and the practice of the uniyersal church ; and after a long debate it 
appeared clear to the great majority of the monks and ecclesiastics present, 
that those were in error who differed in this and other matters from the 
practice of the Roman church. Rapin and some others pretend that the 
Scots or Irish and the Britons were for some time schismatics in consequence 
of these matters ; but tbese writers are mistaken, for the Saxon Christians 
did not coincide with the Quartodecimans, who had been condemned by the 
church, nor had this difference between them and the uniyersal church then 
proceeded to a breach of communion.* 

Soon after this conference the See of Canterbury became yacant by the 
death of Deusdedit; Oswy consulted with Egbert, the King of Kent, and by 
their concurrence the presbyter Wighard, who had been chosen to succeed 
to the Archiepiscopal dignity, was sent to Rome to ask the adyice of the 
Apostolic See on the subject of discipline. But the new prelate died at Rome 
of a dreadful and fatal pestilence, which was then rayaging Britain and 
Ireland, and which he had escaped in his own country. In a letter from 
Pope Yitalian to Oswy, annoimcing his death, the Pontiff assures the King, 
that he would select for the See of Canterbury a person equal to so exalted a 
station ; and after some delay the learned and yirtuous Theodorus, a monk of 
Tarsus, was landed in Kent with the title of Archbishop of Britain. His 
authority was immediately acknowledged by all the Saxon prelates, synods 
were held, and unifonnily of discipline was ererywhere observed. 

Oswy died in 670, in the 29th year of his reign, and the sceptre of North- 
umbria was transferred to the hands of Egfrid, or Ecgfrid, his son by Anfleda, 
the daughter of Ekiwin. Some writers say that Alchfiid, his eldest son, was 
still aliye, but lejected on account of illegitimacy, and that he ascended the 
throne after the death of Egfrid; others assert that he ruled in Deira up to 
about the time of his father's death, when his subjects reyolted against him, 
and he retired to Ireland, where he deyoted himself to learning and piety 
until the death of Egfrid. But Dr. Lingard teUs us, that after a dlHgent 
examination of Bede, it appeared to him that these writers haye confounded 
Alch^d and Aldfrid, and made the two but one person. Aldftid, who was 
illegitimate, and thought to be the son of Oswy, hyed in spontaneous exile in 
Ireland through his desire of knowledge, and was called to the throne after 
the decease of the legitimate offspring of Oswy. 

Though the royal families of Northumbria and Mercia were allied by 
maniage, the ambition of Egfrid led him to inyade that kingdom in 679. A 

• Bed6 iii., 35, M. 


conflict took place on the banks of the Trent, but peace was restored by the 
interposition of Archbishop Theodorus.* 

In 685, this restless monarch, who laboured incessantly to preserve and 
enlarge his dominions, invaded the territories of the ficts, for the purpose of 
depredation or conquest, and was killed by them in battle in the 40th year 
of his age, and the 15th of his reign. Egfrid dying without issue, the North- 
umbrian Thanes offered the crown to Alfred, or Aldfrid, the reputed but 
illegitimate son of Egfrid. During the last reign he had retired to the 
western isles, and had devoted the time of his exile to study, under the 
instruction of the Irish monks. His proficiency obtained for him from his 
contemporaries the title of the learned King. He displayed great moderation 
and virtue in governing his kingdom, and after reigning happily for 19 years, 
he died in 705, and is said to have been buried at Little Driffield, in the 
East Riding of Yorkshire. Osred, the eldest son of Alfred, a child eight 
years of age, succeeded his father. During the minority of this Prince, a 
nobleman, named Eadulph, usurped the sceptre, and besieged the royal infant 
and his guardian in the strong foilress of Bamborough ; but the nobles and 
people rising in defence of their Sovereign, the usurper was taken prisoner, 
and put to death, after a tumultuous reign of two months. Osred, however, 
as he advanced towards manhood, lost, by his licentious conduct, the affections 
of the people, which Ceonred and Osric (two brothers, descendants of a natural 
son of Ida, the first Anglo-Saxon King of Northumbria), perceiving, formed 
a party against him, and were supported by the whole body of the clergy. 
At length they raised the standard of revolt, and Osred was defeated and 
slain on the banks of Winandermere, in 716, being the 19th year of his age, 
and 11th of his reign. Ceonred, who then mounted the throne, died in 718, 
and was succeeded by his brother Osric, who reigned peaceably 11 years, 
but was slain in 780. The next King of Northumbria was Ceolwulf, the 
brother of his predecessor, who, in the 8th year of his reign, voluntarily 
retired to the monastery of Lindisfame, where he passed the remainder of 
his life. Ceolwulf was the patron of the Venerable Bede, the ecclesiastical 
historian. In the year 737, Eadbert, the cousin of Ceolwulf, was crowned, 
and, after enlarging his kingdom, and reigning 31 years, he followed the 
example of his predecessor, by seeking the peaceful tranquillity of the 
cloister. This monarch's brother was Archbishop of York. Oswulf, the son 
and successor of Eadbert, was assassinated in 758, in the first year of his 
reign ; his Thanes having conspired against liim. The next Northumbrian 

• Bcde iv., c. 81. 


monarch was Mol Edilwold, who, though not of royal blood, was [raised to 
the throne by the sof&age of the people. He too was conspired against, and 
put to death by Alchred, a descendant of Ida, who usurped the throne in 
765. This monarch reigned 9 years; but in 774 he was expelled, and 
£thelred, the son of Edilwold, was chosen in his stead. This Prince was 
obliged by his subjects to abdicate, and seek refuge in a neighbouring king- 
dom in 770. 

Alfwold, the son of Oswulf, and grandson of Eadbert, was now placed on 
the throne; and though he reigned 11 years, honoured and beloved, yet he 
yielded up his hfe at the hands of the Ealdorman Sigan. The murderer put 
a period to his own existence five years later. 

In 785 Pope Adrian sent two papal legates, the Bishops of Ostia and 
Tudertum, to England. Soon after their arrival they convoked two synods, 
the one in Northiunbria, the other in Mercia. At the latter synod, which 
was attended by all the Princes and prelates in the country, the legates read 
a code of ecclesiastical laws, composed by the Sovereign Pontiff, for the 
government of the Anglo-Saxon church. It was heard with respect, and 
subscribed by all the members.'S' 

la 789 Osred 11., son of Alchred, was advanced to the throne of Northum- 
bria, and the following year he was deposed by the Thanes, and he retired 
to the Isle of Man. Ethelred was then recalled, and returned with a thirst 
for revenge, and was replaced on the throne. Soon after his restoration he 
ordered Eardulf, one of his most powerful opponents, to be slain at the door 
of the church of Eipon. The monks carried the body into the choir, and 
during the funeral service it was observed to breathe ; proper remedies were 
applied to the wounds, and the future King of Northumbria recovered, and 
was carefully concealed in the monastery. This act of cruelty was followed 
by the murder of Elf and Elwin, the two sons of King Alfwold.- Osred now 
Tetumed from the Isle of Man, and braved his rival to battle ; but he was 
deserted by his followers, and added another to the victims of Ethelred*s 
ambition. This monster repudiated his own wife, and married the daughter 
of OfCa, the powerful King of Mercia. In the third year of his reign a total 
failure of the harvest reduced the inhabitants to flamine, to which were soon 
added the ravages of pestilence ; and to complete their misfortunes, an army 
of Danes landed on the coast, pillaged the country, and destroyed the venerable 
church of Lindisfame. All these calamities were attributed to the impru- 
dence of Ethelred ; and in the fourth year of his restoration he fell in a 

• Saxon Chronicle, 64. Wilk. Con. p. 152, 164. 


fruitless attempt to quell the rising discontent of his subjects. 'i' The ad- 
herents of Osbald now placed -him on the throne ; but after a short reign of 
27 days, the opposite faction gained the ascendancy, and Osbald was deposed, 
and found safety in a monastery. 

Eardulf, whose life had been saved by tlie monks of Kipon, then grasped 
the sceptre, stained by the blood of so many Princes ; but civil dissensions 
had now prevailed to an alarming extent, and in 808 he was obliged to fly 
from the fury of his rebellious subjects, and take refuge in the court of 
Charlemagne. Alfwald, the head of the faction by which Eardulf was 
dhven from his kingdom, undertook to sway this dangerous sceptre ; but he 
reigned only two years, and his death left the crown to Eanred, in whose 
reign the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria ceased to be independent 

During the last century Northumbria had exhibited successive instances 
of treachery and murder, to which no other country perhaps can furnish a 
parallel. The monarchs, with few exceptions, were restless and ambitious, 
and the inconstancy of the Thanes was fatal to the ambition of the monarchs. 
Out of the fourteen kings who had assumed the sceptre during that century, 
only one, if one, died in the peaceable possession of royalty ; seven were 
slain, and six were banished from the throne by their rebellious subjects. 
And the same anarchy and perfidy prevailed till the Danes totally extin- 
guished the Northumbrian dynasty, by the slaughter of Ella and Osbert, in 
the year 867. 

Egbert, the only remaining Prince of the house of Cerdic — deriving his 
descent from that conqueror, through Inigils, the brother of Ina — having 
been compelled to quit this country, was well received at the court of Char- 
lemagne. For tliree years he had enjoyed considerable command in the 
armies of that Emperor ; and having improved the period of his exile in 
acquiring a proficiency in the arts of war and government, he returned to 
Britain, and was called to the throne of Northumbria ; and by his eminent 
abilities, and great experience, he was enabled to unite the seven kingdoms 
of the Heptarchy into one monarchy, about 890 years after the first arrival 
of the Saxons in this country. 

The authority acquired by Egbert over the tributary kingdoms was very 
soon weakened by the incursions of the Danes. Their invasions gradually 
became more frequent and formidable ; and while the Kings of Wessex, suc- 
cessors of Egbert, were fully employed in defending their own dominions, they 
could only maintain a precarious sovereignty over the other kingdoms. 

Saxon Cbron. 6i, 65. 


Those rapacioas, restless, and cruel spoilers, the Danes, in whom we do 
not find a single redeeming virtue, made their first appearance on our shores 
about the year 787,* hut they did not succeed in forming a permanent 
establishment until a.d. 867, in which year they fitted up a mighty fleet, and 
taking advantage .of the party divisions of the inhabitants, during the inaus- 
picious reign of Ethelred, invaded the kingdom, penetrated with complete 
success into the northern districts, and secured to themselves the sceptre of 
Northumbria. In proceeding through the country they burnt cities, de- 
stroyed churches, wasted the land, overturned everytliing in their way, and 
with the most barbarous cruelty murdered the Kings of the East Angles and 
Mercians. "Language cannot describe their devastations. It can only 
repeat the terms, plunder, murder, rape, famine, and distress. It can only 
enumerate towns, villages, churches, and monasteries, harvests, and libraries 
ransacked and burnt. But by the incessant repetition, the horrors are 
diminished; and we read, without emotion, the narrative of deeds which rent 
the hearts of thousands with anguish, and inflicted wounds on human happi- 
ness, and human improvement, which ages with difficulty healed, "f " Ex- 
punge the name of one King from their records," says a learned writer, in 
speaking of the Danes, " and their political existence in England exhibits 
nothing but a deformed mass of perfidy and slaughter, profligacy and crime." 

The Northumbrians being the most remote from Wessex, at length 
recovered their independence, and Osbert, or Orbrightus, was raised to the 
throne. Discord and party spirit, which for such a length of time disturbed 
the kingdom, and which for a while seemed to be extinguished, was revived 
by the licentious tyranny of the new King, and the flames of civil war were 
floon enkindled m Northumbria. Returning one day from hunting, Osbert 
called at the mansion of one of his nobles, named Bruem Brocard, guardian 
of the sea coasts, and not finding him at home, violated by force the chastity 
of his wife. To revenge this insult, Bruem excited a revolt of the Bemicians ; 
Osbert was declared unworthy to govern, and another King, named Ella, was 
elected to the throne of Bemicia. Thus was Northumbria once more divided 
between two Kings, and two factions, who were continually aiming at each 
other s destruction. No sooner was the Bemician monarch seated on the 

• Hoveden, pw 4a f Tom. Aug. Sax., vol. iL, p. 180* 


throne, than he, stimulated by Earl Bruem, endeavoured to dispossess Osbert 
of the crown of Deira, and a sanguinary civil war ensued, in which the 
equality of the forces of the two Kings prevented the scale turning on either 
side. At length Bruem rashly and inconsiderately resolved to 'sail to Den- 
mark, and to soHcit assistance, which was but too readily granted. 

Urged by ambition and revenge, the King of Denmark eagerly entered into 
the enterprise. His revenge is said to have been excited by the alleged cruel 
treatment of a Danish General, named Lothbroc, the father of Hinguar and 
Hubba, who being alone in a small boat was driven by accident to the coast 
of Norfolk. Historians tell us, that he was well received and hospitably 
treated at the court of Edmund, King of the East Angles; that he was an 
accomplished sportsman, and became so conspicuous for his dexterity, as to 
obtain a distinguished place in the royal favour. That Bern, the King*s 
huntsman, growing jealous of him, took an opportunity of drawing him to a 
thicket, where he murdered him, and concealed the body. That the corpse 
was discovered by means of Lothbroc 's dog ; that Bern was tried and found 
guilty of the murder, and the sentence passed upon him was, that he should 
be put into the murdered man's boat, and without tackling or provision, com- 
mitted to the mercy of the waves. That the boat, by a singular fatality, was 
cast upon the coast of Denmark, and that being known, Bern was appre- 
hended, and examined concerning the fate of Lothbroc. That in order to 
exculpate himself, Bern told the Danish authorities, that Lothbroc had, by 
the King's command, been thrown into a pit, and stimg to death by serpents. 
They add that Bruem arrived in Denmark shortly after this circumstance, 
and that measures were speedily concerted for the invasion of Deira. But 
Dr. Lingard gives a different version of the cause of this descent of the Danes* 
on the authority of Asser, Ingulphus, the Saxon Chronicle, Leland, and 
Turner. He tells us, that during the reign of Ethelbert, King of Wessex, 
the predecessor of Ethelred, one of the most adventurous and successful of 
the Sea-Kings, or pirate chieftains, named Eagnar Lodbrog, constmcted a 
number of large ships for the purpose of invading England ; that owing to 
the unskilfulness of the mariners, or the violence of the weather, the vessels 
were wrecked on the coast of Northumbria. That Bagnar, with several of 
his followers reached the shore, and heedless of the consequences, commenced 
their usual career of depredation. That Ella flew to the coast, fought with 
the plunderers, made Bagnar prisoner, and put him to death; and that his 
sons, Inguar and Ubbo, who swore to avenge the murder, collected to their 
standard the combined forces of 8 Sea-Kings, with SO Jarls, consisting of 
several^thousand warriors, and in the reign of Ethelred landed on the coast 


of East Anglia without opposition.* It seems ceitain, however, that soon 
after the death of Ragnar, that a mighty fleet, commanded by the two 
brothers, Hinguar and Hubba, entered the Humbor, and spread terror and 
dismay all over the country. The Xorthurabrians being wholly ignorant of 
their design, were not in readiness to dispute their landing, consequently they 
soon became masters of the northern shore, and having burnt and destroyed 
the towns on the Holdemess coast, they marched directly towards York, 
where Osbert was preparing an army to oppose them. 

In this great extremity Osbert was constrained to apply to his mortal foe^ 
EUa, for assistance, and to the great credit of the latter, he willingly agreed 
to suspend their private quarrel, and join forces against the common enemy. 
Without waiting the arrival of Ella's reinforcement, Osbert sallied out of 
York, and attacked the Danes so vigorously, that they could hardly stand the 
shock. But pressing in their turn, the Danes compelled the British army to 
retire without any order, into the city. Osbert, in endeavouring to rally his 
scattered troops, was slain in the retreat with a great number of his men. 
The victors now entered York in triumph, whilst Ella was advancing in hopes 
of repairing the loss Osbert had sustained by his impatience. Hinguar 
having conquered one of the Kings, went out to meet the other, and a battle 
no less bloody, and £a,tal to the English, ensued. Ella was killed, and his 
army entirely routed. Some historians state that Ella was not slain in the 
battle, but taken prisoner, and that Hinguar ordered him to be flayed alive 
in revenge for his father's murder. 

Hovedon thus describes the horrible sufferings of the inhabitants of York 
on this occasion: — "By the General's cruel orders they knocked down all the 
bojs ; young and old men they met in the city, and cut their throats; matrons 
and virgins were ravished at pleasure ; the husband and wife, either dead or 
dying, were tossed together ; the infant, snatched from its mother's breast, 
was carried to the threshold, and there left butchered at its parent's door, to 
make the general outcry more hideous." According to the same authority, 
as well as that of the Saxon Chronicle, this battle was fought on the 21st of 
March, 867. 

The kingdom of Northumbria was thus conquered by the Danes, after it 
had been in the possession of the Saxons for 3S0 years. Hinguar now ap- 
pointed his brother Huhba, Governor of York, and gave him also the command 
of the newly-won kingdom. A deputy Governor, named Godram, with a 
ganrison under his command, was left in the city, whilst the two brothers 

• lingard's Hist, of England, vol. i. p. 155. Fcp. 8vo. 


pushed their conquests southwards. In 870, Hinguar and Hubba returned 
to York, and constituted Egbert, a Saxon, devoted to their cause, Bong of 
Northumbria. He was, however, soon deposed, and Kingsidge, a Dane, was 
proclaimed King. The populace of York, being much enraged at this, mur- 
dered the Dane, and restored Egbert His second reign was of short duration, 
for the Danes, increasing in power, divided the kingdom of Northumbria 
amongst three of their own officers. Sithric, a Dane, and Nigel his brother, 
reigned beyond the Tyne in the year 877; and Reginald, also a Dane, 
governed the city of York, and all the coimtry between the rivers Tyne and 
Humber, at the same period. The success of the Danes in Northumbria, as 
well as in the south, compelled the Anglo-Saxon Kings and Princes to con- 
federate for mutual defence, and by the skill and wisdom of Alfred the Great, 
King of Wessex, the invaders were subdued in 880, after that renowned 
monarch had emerged from his retreat in a swineherd*s cottage. To prevent 
the rapine and disorders which formerly prevailed in the realm, Alfred divi- 
ded part of the kingdom into Counties, Hundreds, and Tithings, caused the 
inhabitants of each district to be made responsible for the damage committed 
by lawless mobs, established trial by jury, and composed a body of laws on 
which the glorious superstructure of English liberty was finally erected. He 
was not less generous than brave, and by acts of kindness, sought to convert 
the Danes from deadly enemies to £aithful subjects. Alfred may be con- 
sidered as the first King of the Anglo-Saxons ; but to Athelstan, as we shall 
see, belongs the credit of being the founder of the English monarchy, for 
after the battle of Brunanbuih he had no competitor. 

The restless spirit of the Danes not brooking restraint, they re-commenced 
hostilities, but after plundering Mercia, in 910, they were again defeated, in 
a desperate battle in the north, by Edward the Elder, son and successor of the 
Great Alfred, when two of their Kings, Halfden and Eowils, brothers of 
Hinguar, and several thousands of their soldiers were slain. At this period, 
Edward, with the Mercians and West Saxons, ravaged the principal part of 
Northumbria for nearly five weeks. 

This decisive victory established the superiority of the Anglo-Saxon 
monarch over the ruthless Dane. Athelstan, the successor of Edw6urd, com- 
pelled Sithric and Nigel to submit to his victorious arms; but upon doing 
homage, they were allowed to keep their possessions. In 0^6, Sithric ob- 
tained the daughter of Athelstan in marriage, on condition that he would 
turn Christian; but dying the first year of his marriage, his sons, Godfrid 
and Anlaff, whom he had by a former wife, stirred up a rebellion among the 
Northumbrian Danes. This drew upon them the indignation of Athelstan, 


who attacked and reduced tke whole of Northumbria, except the castle of 
York, which was Y&ry strong and well garrisoned. One of the Danish 
Ptixxoes now fled to Scotland, and the other to Ireland, whence thej returned 
in three years afterwards (in 937) with a great body of Norwegians, Danes, 
Iiiah, Scotch, and Welsh soldiers. Anlaff entered the Humber with a fleet 
of 615 Bail, landed his forces, and marched to York before the King had any 
inteJligeace of it, and were soon joined by the confederated Scotch and 
British Princes. Athelstan, who not content with his own forces, had pur- 
diased the aid of several Sea-Eings, was soon approaching the north. As he 
passed through Beverley, he visited the church, offered his dagger on the 
altar, and vowed to redeem it, if he returned victorious, at a price worthy of 
a King. In a few days afterwards the famous battle of Bromford, or Bru- 
nanburh, in Northumbria, was fought, in which Athelstan gained a complet<> 
victoiy, the army of the Princes being entirely destroyed. 

This engagement, which is celebrated in the relics of Saxon and Scandina- 
vian poetry, lasted from morning till sunset. A contemporary writer tells- us 
Hiat in the English army waved a hundred banners, and round each banner 
were ranged a thousand warriors. " Never," says the native poet, '* since 
the arrival of the Saxons and Angles, those artists in war, was such a carnage 
known in England." Constantine, the King of Scotland, saved himself by a 
precipitate flight, after his son and most of his men had been slaughtered ; 
and amongst the slain were 6 petty Kings of Ireland and Wales, and 12 
gieneral officers. To prevent future rebellion, Athelstan proceeded to York, 
and rased the castle, which was the principal bulwark of the Danish power, 
to the ground. The conqneror, in his return from the battle, redeemed his 
dagger £rom the chiurch of Beverley, with a grant of ample and valuable 
piivil^es. This decisive victory confirmed the ascendency of Athelstan ; the 
British Princes no longer disputed his authority, and his power became pre- 
dominant in Britain. To him, therefore, belongs the glory of having 
established what has ever since been called the kingdom of England; and 
he, himself, undoubtedly, was the first monarch of England. His prede- 
oessorsy till the reign of Alfred the Great, had been styled the Kings of 
Wesaex. Alfred and his son Edward assumed the title of Kings of the 
Anglo-Saxons; and Athelstan sometimes called himself King of the English, 
but at other times he claimed the more pompous designation of King of All 
Britain. But in the course of a century the latter title fell into disuse, and 
the former has been retained to the present age. 

Athelstan died, much r^etted by his subjects and the surrounding nations, 
on the 37th of October, 941, and was buried in the Abbey of Mahnsbury, 


where he had deposited the remains of Elfwin and Ethel win, who fell at 
Bromford. This monarch, dying without heirs, was succeeded on the throne 
of England by Edmund, eldest son of Edward, the predecessor of Athelstan, 
then about 17 years of age. The turbulent spirit of the Northumbrians, 
which Athelstan had kept imder some restraint, soon broke out after his 
death. Anlaff, who had fled to Ireland, was invited to hazard a third time 
the fortune of war; and having, by the promise of a large sum of money, 
obtained a considerable force from Olaus, King of Norway, the Humber, in a 
few weeks, was covered by a numerous fleet of foreign adventurers. The 
operations of the campaign are involved in much obscurity, but in a short 
time the whole of Northumbria submitted to his arms. 

In 942 Anlafl* attacked the kingdom of Mercia, but Edmund gave him 
battle near Chester, and neither side being able to claim the victory, a peace 
was concluded through the mediation of Odo and Wulstan, the Archbishops 
of Canterbury and York. By this treaty Edmund gave up all the country 
north of the Roman highway, Watling Street, which divides England into 
two parts. The kingdom of Northumbria is once more about to be divided. 
The people, during the absence of Anlaff, sent for his nephew Reginald, and 
crowned him King at York. Anlaff prepared for resistance ; but through the 
intciTcntion of Edmund, who was backed by a powerful army, it was agreed 
that Anlaff should retain the crown of Deira, whilst Reginald swayed the 
sceptre of Bemicia.* It was also stipulated that the two Kings should swear 
fealty to Edmund, and embrace the Christian religion ; and the ceremony of 
their bjlptism was performed in the Cathedral by Archbishop Wulstan. 

In 944 hostilities recommenced — Edmund again successfully opposed them, 
and obliged the two kings to quit the island. Edmund died sole monarch of 
England in 946, and his sons being in infancy, he was succeeded by his 
brother Edred, whose reign was principally distinguished by the final subju- 
gation of Northumbria. He proceeded to that country, and I'eceived from 
the natives the usual oaths of fidelity; but the obedience of the Northum- 
brians lasted only as long as they were overawed by his presence. He was 
no sooner departed, than they expelled liis ofQcers, and set his authority at 
defiance. Anlaff was again invited to return to York, he obeyed the invita- 
tion, and obtained possession of the whole of Northumbria, which he retained 

• Dr. Lingard snys, that Anlaff died the next year after he concluded the treaty with 
Edmund, and that it was after his death that Northumbria was again divided. He states 
that after the kingdoms wore di\ided, the two kings were Anlaff and Reginald, but he 
does not tell us who they were, but he distinctly states that Anlaff was the second of 
that name in Northumbria. Lingard's Eng., vol. i., p. 200. Fcp. 8vo. 


for foor years. In 950 another revolt took place, in fwhich Anlaff was 
deposed ; and Eric, who had been driven from Norway by his brother Haco, 
the king of that country, and who had wandered for years a pirate on the 
ocean, and landed on the northern coast, was saluted King, and called to the 
throne in his stead. 

Now followed a civil war between the factions of Eric and Anlaff; and 
when all was in confusion, Edred, at the head of an army, marched to the 
north, subdued the contending parties, severely punished the perfidy of the 
rebels, obliged Eric to flee into Scotland, threatened to destroy the whole 
countiy with fire and sword, and even commenced the execution of his threat 
bj burning the monastery of Ripon. He, however, soon relented, pardoned 
the offending people, and replaced Eric on the throne of Northumbria. 

When Edred left York, the Danes pursued him, and furiously attacked his 
forces on the banks of the river Aire (at Castleford), but were repulsed. 
Eldred returned to Tork to chastise the people for rebellion, upon which the 
inhabitants, to save themselves from his just indignation, renounced Eric, 
and put him to death, and they also slew Amac, the son of Anlaff ; these 
Princes having been the chief instigators of their treachery. Edred spared 
the city, bat dissolved their monarchial government, and reduced the kingdom 
of Northumbria to an Earldom, of which York was constituted the capital, 
and Osulf, or Osluff, an Anglo-Saxon, or Englishman, became the first Earl. 
This final subjugation of the great northern kingdom took place in 951. The 
chief residence of the Earls or Viceroys, like the ancient Kings of Northum- 
bria, was at York. In this reign the north of England, like the rest of the 
kingdom, was divided into shires, ridings, and wapentakes, and a number of 
officers appointed for their superintendence. Edgar, who succeeded Edred 
on the throne of England, appointed Oslac to join Osulf in the government 
of the north, but the authority of these two officers was subsequently united 
in the person of Waltheof, the second Earl. 

During the reign of Ethelred, the Danes became so turbulent, that he 
attempted to destroy their power by secretly ordering them to be massacred 
on St Brice's day, the 13th of November, 1012. The slaughter on tliat fatal 
day was great in the southern part of England, but in the north they were 
too numerously intermingled with the Saxons to be sentenced to assassination. 
Among the thousands who fell was the Lady Gunhilda, sister to the King of 
Denmark, who had been sent as hostage, on condition of peace, together with 
her husband, Palig. This detestable Eict, which will cover the name of 
Ethelred with eternal infamy, so inflamed the Danes with indignation, that 
in a short time the Saxons became the sport of a revengeful enemy. To 


revenge the wrongs of his countiTmen, Sweyne, King of Denmark, undertook 
the conquest of England. In 1013 he entered the Humber with a large 
fleet, and having destroyed the country on both sides of the river, he pro- 
ceeded to York, and encamped on the banks of the Ouse. EtheLred, with 
an army augmented by a number of Scots, gave him battle, but the EngHsh 
monarch was defeated, and seizing a boat, fled to the Isle of Wight, and 
thence to Normandy, leaving his crown and kingdom to the conqueror. 

Sweyne died at Gainsborough in 1014, and his son Canute was proclaimed 
King, but being obliged to return to Denmark, the English in his absence 
recalled their exiled monarch, who ruled by force of arms over the southern 
parts of the island till his death in 1016. Canute died in this country, King 
of England, Denmark, and Norway, in 1035, and was succeeded in his 
British dominions by Harold, his second son, sumamed Harefoot. This 
monarch was succeeded by Hardicanute, a licentious tyrant, who died two 
years after his accession, at the nuptials of a Danish lord, at Lambeth. The 
next Danish claimant to the British crown was named Sweyne, but Edward 
the Confessor, though not the hereditary descendant, was raised to the throne 
by the voice of the people.* 

History is almost silent concerning the first seven Earls of Northumbria — 
Osulf, Waltheof, Uthred, Hircus, Eadulf, Aldred, and Eadulf 11.; but the 
last thre&— Siward, Tosti, Tosto, or Tostig, brother to Harold, and Morcar, 
make a conspicuous figure in the annals of the country. Siwaid, the 8th 
Earl, was a man of extraordinary strength and valour. He was appointed 
by Edward the Confessor to lead an army of 10,000 men into Scotland, to 
aid Malcolm against the usui^r Macbeth, whom he slew, and set the former 
on the throne of Scotland.! 

When this brave old warrior was on his death-bed at York, in 1055, and 
reduced to the last extremity by disease, he exclaimed, " Oh ! what a shame 
it is for me, who have escaped death in so many dangerous battles, to die like 
a beast at last Put me on my impenetrable coat of mail," added he, '' gird 
on my sword, place on my helmet, give me my shield in my right hand, and 
my golden battle-axe in my left ; thus as a valiant soldier I have lived, even 
so will I die.'* It is recorded that his friends obeyed this injunction, which 
was no sooner done than he expired. He died in 1055, and his body was 

* The surname of "the Confessor" was given to this monarch from the bull of his 
canonization, issned hy Pope Alexander m, about a century after his decease. 

f '* Gracions England hath lent us good Siward, and ten thousand men. 
An older and a better soldier, none that Christendom gives out" 

Shak8pe«re*s Macbeth, Act iv. Sc. 8. 


buried in the church of St. Olaye, at York. Tosti, second son of Earl God- 
win, minister of state, succeeded Siward in the Earldom of Northumbria, but 
his role was so cruel and tyrannical, that, in 1065, as we read in the Saxon 
Chronicle, the Thanes and people revolted, and furiously attacking his house, 
he very narrowly escaped, with his family, and fled into Flanders. The 
Northumbrians seized his treasures, and appointed Morcar to be their Earl. 
Harold, brother of Tosti, being appointed by the King to vindicate the royal 
anthority, and quell the insurrection, b^an his march, while Morcar, at the 
head of the Northumbrians, advanced southward. The two armies met at 
Northampton, but happily an arrangement was effected without bloodshed. 
Harold on being convinced of his brother's misconduct, abandoned his cause, 
and interceded with the King in favour of the insurgents. The Confessor 
confirmed Morcar in his Earldom; and Harold afterwards married Morcar*s 
sister, and obtained from the King the government of Mercia for Morcar*s 
brother, Edwin. 

King Edward died on the 5th of January, 1066, and was buried on the 
following day in the abbey church of Westminster, which he had founded. 
During his reign the most approved Danish laws were incorporated with the 
costoms, maxims, and rules of the Britons, the West Saxons, and the 
Mercians. This code became common throughout England, and were the 
laws 80 fondly cherished by our ancestors in succeeding ages, and so often 
promised to be adhered to by princes, as the surest means of securing their 

The Malmsbuiy historian, speaking of the English at this remarkable 
period, says, " They wore clothes that did not reach beyond the middle of 
the knee, their heads were shorn, and their beards were shaven, only the 
upper lip was always let grow to its full length. Their arms were loaded 
with gdden bracelets, and their skins dyed with painted marks/' 

The above-mentioned Harold was proclaimed King by an assembly of the 
Thanes and citizens of London, on the death of Edward, and the day of the 
Confessor's funeral witnessed the coronation of the new monarch. The 
ceremony of the coronation was performed by Aldred, Archbishop of York, 
Stigand, the Archbishop of Canterbury, being then suspended. The southern 
counties cheerfully acquiesced in the succession of Harold, but the Northum- 
brians in their pride refused to be bound by the act of those, whose military 
qualities they deemed inferior to their own. Harold, accompanied by Wul- 
stan, Bishop of Worcester, hastened to the north, and soon won the affection 
of the Northumbrians. The news of Edward's death, and Harold's acces- 
sion, no sooner reached William, Duke of Normandy, nephew to the deceased 


monarch, than he assembled his council, and expressed to them his deter- 
. mination to pursue by arms his pretensions to the crown of England. Tosti 
(Harold's brother), the outlawed and exiled Earl of Northumberland, en- 
couraged by the Duke of Normandy,* and his father-in-law, Baldwin, Earl of 
Flanders, now attempted to dethrone him. With 40 ships, well manned, 
supplied by the latter nobleman, he made a descent upon Yorkshire, entered 
the Humber, and committed the most horrible ravages on its banks. 

Morcar, Earl of Northumbria, with his brother Edwin, Eaii of Chester, 
marched expeditiously against the invader, and pursued him into Lincoln- 
sliire, where they defeated him, and compelled him to flee to his ships. He 
then sailed to Scotland, and after vainly endeavouring to excite the King of 
that country to join him in the invasion of England, his vindictive spirit 
impelled him to apply for assistance to Harrald (sumamed Hardrada, or the 
Stem), King of Norway, with whom he was more successful. That great 
warrior immediately equipped, for the invasion of England, the most mighty 
armament th«rt ever left the coast of Norway. It consisted of SOO sail, be- 
sides store ships and vessels of smaller size, to the number of 600 in all. 
Harrald touched at the Orkneys, where he was joined by Tosti and a large 
reinforcement of adventurers. Having burnt and plundered the town of 
Scarborough, and received the submission of the people of the coast of York- 
shire, from the Tees to the Humber, the Norwegians entered the latter river 
for the purpose of obtaining possession of York. They landed at the village 
of Riccall, ten miles from York, and after ravaging the country in the most 
cruel manner, they commenced their march to the latter place. A desperate 
attempt to save the city was made near the village of Fulford, by the Earls 
Edwin and Morcar. The Norwegians were drawn up with their right flank 
to the river, and their left to a morass. The impetuosity of the English 
burst through the line; but they, in their turn, were overwhelmed by a 
fresh 'body of forces from the ships; and more of the fugitives perished in 
the water than had fallen by the sword. Edwin and Morcar escaped to 
York, whither Tosti and his forces followed, and the city was taken by 
storm. Harold, the English King, who had been preparing to meet the 
threatened attack of William the Norman, having heard of the unexpected 
invasion of Hardrada, lost not a moment in marching against the aggressor, 
and within four days after the late battle, he, at the head of a powerful army, 
was in the neighbourhood of York. 

On the 23rd of September, 1066, he arrived with his forces at Tadcaster, 

• Daniel, Hist, de France, vol. iii. p. 00. 



and the following day he marched towards York. At the Eing^s approach 
the invaders withdrew from York, taking with them 500 of the principal 
inhabitants as hostages, and leaving 150 of their men to prevent the English 
from taking peaceable possession of the city ; they moved about eight miles 
from York, to Stamford Bridge (long afterwards known as *< the Bridge of 
Battle "), where they secured a very strong position with the main body of 
thdr anny, on ground gently rising from the river Derwent — the river 
flowing in front, and a narrow wooden bridge forming the means of commu- 
nication between the opposite sides. The river here runs nearly south, and 
is about eight miles distant from its jimction with the Ouse. The position 
of the invaders had several advantages ; it was easily defended, commanded 
a view of the country for some distance around, and it afforded a commimi- 
cation with the fleet, then lying in the Ouse. 

** The order of the battle displayed considerable knowledge of the mihtary 
art; with both wings bent backward until they met, the army formed a close 
rather irregular circle, everywhere of equal depth, with shield touching shield, 
8o as to form a rampart of bucklers. The royal standard, called very appro- 
priately, ' The Land Ravager,* was planted in the centre, and by it the King 
and }ns chosen companions had generally their station. This arrangement 
was adopted as the best means of defence against the superior strength of 
the English in cavalry. The first, or outer line, presented to the enemy a 
complete circle of spears, which were held obliquely, at a considerable eleva- 
tion, their ends restmg on the ground ; this position required the soldiers to 
bend one knee ; the second line stood erect, holding their lances in readiness 
to pierce the breasts of the horses, should they attempt to break through. 
The archers were placed so as to assist them in repelling these attacks. 
The Norwegian King, mounted on a black charger, with a white star in its 
forehead, rode round the circle, encouraging his men, and was rendered con- 
spicuous by his dazzling helmet, and the sky blue mantle he wore above his 
coat of mail.*** The English King having pursued tbe invaders, resolv^ 
to attack them, notwithstanding all the advantages of their position. 

On the d5th of September, at day-break, he commenced hostilities, and the 
battle raged with increasing foxy until three o*clock in the afternoon. The 
armies were nearly equal in numbers, each consisting of about 60,000 men, 
most of them chosen warriors, full of the most savage bravery, and distin- 
gmahed for their strength and courage. Harold, in his first attempt to force 
the passage of the river, appears to have routed a detatchment on the western 

« BatUe ileldB of Yorkshire. 


side, which was placed there to guard the bridge. Whilst the English were 
pursuing the fugitives, and attempting to cross the river, historians tell us, 
that a single Norwegian, of gigantic strength and power, placed himself upon 
the bridge, and there by his extraordinary valour opposed the whole English 
army for three hours, killing with his own hand forty of Harold's soldiers. 
After having scornfully refused an invitation to surrender, with an assurance 
of the amplest clemency from the EngUsh, we are told that a Saxon boatman 
rowed himself imder the bridge, and thrusting his spear up through the 
woodwork, pierced the Norwegian terribly inwards, under his coat of mail."!* 
The English then rushed on with resistless impetuosity, and the conflict that 
ensued was dreadful. No quarter on either side was allowed by this im- 
mense multitude in arms, so that it is with good reason said that this action 
is one of the most bloody that is recorded in the annals of England ; and it 
is stated that after the lapse of fifty years the spot was still whitened with 
the bones of the slain. For a long time the issue of the contest appeared 
doubtful. The attack of the English was furious, and it was met with equal 
spirit by the Norwegians. At length the generalship of Harold proved 
superior in the field to the Norwegian chief. ** He ordered his horsemen to 
retreat, in order to draw the enemy from their position and break their 
ranks ; the stratagem had the desired effect ; the Norwegians quitted their 
position; the English horsemen returned to the charge, and obtained a 
speedy victory over their now disordered and half armed enemies ; for they 
had thrown aside their shields and breastplates to join in the pursuit The 
King of Norway was pierced in the neck with an arrow, and instantly 
expired. Tosti was also slain, and the greater part of the army, with all 
the chiefs, perished, fighting like madmen. "f The EngHsh pursued the 
remains of the routed army in their disordered flight towards their ships, 
" and from behind hotly smote them." Many were pushed into the rivers 
and drowned ; and others reached their vessels, somo of which were boarded 
and burned, and the whole fleet was seized by the victors. Olaf, son of 
Hardrada, and Paul, Earl of Orkney, who had been left in command of the 
fleet, were taken prisoners ; and here the magnanimity of the EngHah King 

• It must confessed, that the exploits of this huge and valiant warrior has more the 
appearance of romance than of soher history, though it is recorded by aU who have 
written an account of this battle. Drake tells us, that the inhabitants of Stamford 
Bridge " have a custom, at an annaal feast, to make pies in the form of a swiJl, or erwine 
tub, which tradition says was made use of by the man, who struck the Norwegian on the 
bridge instead of a boat;" and Profesnor Phillips, speaking of this champion of the bridge, 
says, " an annual boat-like cake is the village monument to his ibrtunate enemy." 

i Battle Fields of Yorkshire. 


shines conspicuoualy, for after receiying back the citizens of York, who had 
been detained as hostages on board the Norwegian ships, he permitted all 
who had survived the slaughter, to depart to their own country, in a part of 
their shattered fleet, having first obliged them to swear never to disturb the 
BritLsh dominions agauL But 20 ships were sufficient to carry back the 
misecable remains of an army, which it took more than 500 to convey hither. 
Camden tells us, that the spoil taken by the victors was immense ; and that 
the gold alone, which the Norwegians left behind them, was as much as 
twelve men could cany on their shoulders. It is stated that Harold disgusted 
his army, by refusing to distribute among them any portion of this spoil. 
But Harold's triumph was of short duration ; for after his return to York, 
and whilst he was seated at a royal- banquet, surrounded by his nobles, cele- 
brating his great victory, a messenger entered the hall, and announced 
the arrival and descent of the Duke of Normandy and an immense army, at 
Pevensey, in Sussex, He immediately commenced his march southward, 
and encountered the enemy at Hastings, where, in bloody strife, he lost 
bis crown and life, in that, his last and most desperate battle. 

Kotmatt iPettnH. 

S<»ue historians assert that Edward, sumamed the Confessor, named, with 
his dying breath, William, Duke of Normandy, bis nephew, as his successor. 
At the time of that King s death, a report had been circulated, that on 
his death bed he had appointed Harold to succeed him; and the latter 
was called to the throne by the voice of the people. However this point 
may be settled, we have the fact that William of Normandy claimed the 
£nglish crown, fought for, and obtained it. He employed eight months 
in the most active preparations for the invasion, and by the beginning of 
August he found himself at the head of 50,000 cavaLy, besides a smalls 
body of in£uitiy. To furnish transports for this numerous army, every vessel 
in Normandy had been put in requisition. But the supply was still inade- 
quate, and many individuals sought the favour of their Prince, byl)uilding 
ships at their own expense, in the different harbours and creeks. The 
Normans landed without opposition, at Pevensey, on the 29th of September, 
1066 ; marched immediately to Hastings, and threw up fortifications at both 
traces, to protect their ships, and secure a retreat in case of disaster. In the 
beginning of October Harold was feasting and rejoicing at York ; and on the 
18th of the same month he had reached the camp of the Normans. The 


Spot which he selected for this important and sanguinary contest was called 
Senlac, now Battle, eight miles north-west of Hastings, an eminence opening 
to the south, and coyered on the hack hj an extensive wood. He posted his 
troops on the decliyity, in one compact and immense mass. In the centre 
waved the royal standard ; hy its side stood Harold, and his two hrothers 
Gurth and Leofnrin ; and around them the whole army, every man on foot. 
On the opposite hiU William marshalled his host. In the front he placed 
the archers and howmen ; the second line was composed of heavy inf&ntry 
in coats of mail ; and hehind these, arranged in five divisions, the pride of 
the Norman force, the knights and men-at-arms. Both men and horses were 
completely cased in armour, which gave to their charge an irresistihle weight, 
and rendered them almost invulnerable to ordinary weapons. William, we 
are told by an old writer, *' out of a pious care for the interests of Christen- 
dom, and to prevent the effusion of Christian blood, sent out a monk, as 
mediator between both, who proposed these terms to Harold,— either to 
resign the government, or to own it a tenure in fee from the Norman, or to 
decide the matter in single combat with William ; but he," continues our 
authority, " like one who had lost the government over himself, r^ected all 
propositions, and foolishly flattering himself with success, because it was his 
birthday, promised to give them battle.** Camden observes that the night 
before the battle was spent by the English in revels, feasting, and shouting ; 
but by the Normans in prayers for the safety of their army, and for 

Next morning at break of day, the Normans, after a regular shout, sounded 
to battle, and both armies drew up. When they were ready to engage, the 
Normans raised the national war cry of " God is our help,** which was as 
loudly answered by the adverse cry of " Christ*s rood, the holy rood.** The 
Normans charged first with a voUey of arrows fix)m all parts, and that being 
a sort of attack to which the English were strangers, proved exceedingly 
terrible. William then ordered the cavaliy to charge, but the English, who 
resolved to die rather than attempt a retreat, kept their ranks, and repulsed 
them with great loss. The English in every point opposed a solid and 
impenetrable mass, and neither the buckler nor corslet of the Normans could 
withstand the stroke of the batde axe, wielded by a powerful arm and with 
imerring aim. After a pause the left wing of the Norman army betook them- 
selves to flight, closely pursued by their opponents, and a report having now 
spread that William himself had fallen, ihe whole army began to waver. 
The Duke, with his helmet in his hand, rode along the line exclaiming, ** I 
am still alive, and with the help of God I still shall conquer.** The presence 


and confidence of their commander reviyed the hopes of the Normans. 
WOliain led his troops again to the attack; but the English column resisted 
ererj assai]lt> aud maintained their ground with so much brayery, that the 
Noimans were most miserably harassed, and were upon the point of re- 
treating, had not their leader used the most extraordinary means to inspire 
them with courage and confidence. Harold, on his part, used eyery possible 
exertion, and was distinguished as the most actiye and braye amongst the 
soldiers in the host His brothers had already perished, but as long as he 
snryired, no man entertained the apprehension of defeat, or admitted the idea 
of flight The battle continued for seyeral hours with great fury, the English 
resisting the almost oyerwelming charges of the Norman cayaliy. At length, 
William, disappointed and perplexed, had recourse to stratagem. He or- 
dered him men to retreat and to giye ground; but still to keep their ranks. 
The EngUsh taking this for flight, thought the day was certainly their own, 
wlmeupon they broke their ranks, and, not doubting their yictory, pursued 
the enemy in great disorder. But the Normans rallying their troops on a 
sodden, renewed the battle, and enclosing the English in that disorder, killed 
great numbers, while they stood doubtful whether they should run or fight 
At last, Harold was shot through the head with an arrow, and fell from his 
steed in agony, and was borne to the foot of the standard, where he breathed 
his last The knowledge of his flail relaxed the efibrts of the English. 
Twenty Normans undertook to seize the royal banner, and effected their 
purpose, but with the loss of half their number. One of them, who maimed 
inth his sword the dead body of the King, was afterwards disgraced by 
William ibr his brutality. 

It was now dusk in the eyening, the English became dispirited, and having 
loet their King, fled to saye their liyes, after haying fought without inter- 
mission from seyen o*clock in the morning. During the engagement William 
exhibited many proofs of the most determined courage ; he had three horses 
killed under him, and he had been compelled to grapple on foot with his 
adyersaries. Harold's mother b^^ed as a boon the dead body of her son, 
and offered as a ransom its weight in gold, but William's resentment haying 
rendered him callous to pity, he refused, and ordered the corpse of the fallen 
monarch to be buried on the beach ; adding, with a sneer, "he guarded the 
coast while he was aliye ; let him continue to guard it after death." 

There is an old English tradition that Harold did not fall in this battle, 

hat had retired to a hermitage, where he spent the remainder of his days ; 

hut the historical account is, that by stealth, or by purchase, his remains 

• were lemoyed firom the beach, and interred at Waltham Abbey, which he. 


himself, had founded before he ascended the throne. It is said that a plain 
stone was laid on his tomb in ihe Abbey, with the expressive epitaph, 
"Harold Infelix." It is said that on the evening of the battle William 
caused his pavilion to be pitched among the heaps of slaiig and there, with 
his barons, he supped and feasted among the dead. 

Thus ended the memorable and fatal battle, which is c<Hmnonlj called the 
Battle of Hastings; and this day (14th October, 1006) ended the Anglo-Saxon 
monarchy, which had continued more than 600 years ; and gave our island 
to the dominion of the Norman race. On the £eld of victory the conqueror 
erected and endowed a splendid monastery, the remains of which still re- 
tain the name o( Battle Abbey, It is said that the high altar stood on the 
very spot where the standard of Harold had been planted. The exterior waJls 
embraced the whole of the hill which had been the centre of the battle, and 
aU the surrounding country became the property of the Abbey. The com- 
munity of this monastery were bound by its rule to offer prayer perpetually 
for the eternal rest of the souls who had fallen in the conflict; and the Abbey 
itself was at once the monument of the Norman Duke s triumph, and the 
token of his piety. Palgrave very happily concludes his description of this 
noble and richly-endowed Abbey thus: "But all this pomp and solemnity has 
passed away like a dream. The 'perpetual prayer* has ceased for ever, — the 
roll of Battle is rent, — the shields of the Norman lieges are troddeii in the 
dust, — ^the Abbey is levelled to the ground, — ^and a dark and reedy pool jBUs 
the spot where the foundations of the quire have been uncovered, merdly for 
the gaze of the idle visitor, or the instruction of the moping antiquaiy.*' 
The foundation of this Abbey was soon followed by that of the town, which 
was afterwards called Battle or Battel. 

"Whether we consider the Norman Conquest in its success, or in its con- 
sequences," writes Mr. Oliver, " it is still an event equally stupendous and 
unprecedented. It was effected almost without a struggle. Never were such 
important residts accomphshed with so little sacrifice on the part of the 
conquerors. The rash attempt made by a provincial Duke to reduce this 
powerful island, would in any other age have been deemed preposterous, and 
its success contrary to aU the chances of political calculation. William, 
himself, could scarcely anticipate, or even hope for that perfect good fortune 
with which it was accompanied. The native inhabitants appear to have been 
completely paralysed by the imexpected result of the battle of Hastings ; which 
feehng, the superior genius of William well knew how to convert to his own 
advantage, that even the sacrifice of their liberties, their property, and innu- 
merable lives was insufficient to rouse them to any effective resistance against 


the tjraimy wbich trampled them miderfoot, and reduced their ancient 
nobilitj to a state of servile thraldom. ""!< 

William, who had hitherto heen called "the Bastard," and was now sur- 
named " the Conqueror," was crowned in Westminster Abhej, on the 25th of 
December next following the battle of Hastings, bj Aldred, Archbishop of 
York; Stigand, of Canterbury, being suspended from the Archiepiscopal office. 
Having thus established himself on the throne of England, William on his 
part, to confirm his authority, adopted the most bold and active measures. 
He expelled the English from their estates, and reserving to himself about 
1,400 manors, he distributed the fair territory of Britain amongst his rapacious 
foUowers.! This numerous train of military adventurers, who had accom- 
panied him from Normandy under the promise of reward, held their new 
possessions of the King on the tenure of homage, and fealty, and military 
service; by which they were boimd to attend him in the field with a certain 
number of retainers, armed, mounted, and provided for a specified number 
of days in every year. The Boll of Battle Abbey given by Hollinshed, con- 
tains the names of 639 Normans, who became cLiimants upon the soil of 
England, whilst the ancient nobility were stripped of their titles and property, 
and the humble classes of the inhabitants were reduced to the condition of 
miserable slaves.^ 

Thus all the principal manors in the kingdom, except those which the 
King had reserved to himself, were held of him by tenants in capite, or in 
other words, by his Barons; and these, consisting of about 700 persons, were 
the legitimate Parliament, or Council of the realm. The lands thus acquired 
and maintained, the Bacons again subdivided into Knight's fees, and let them 

• Histoiy of Beverley, p. 69. f West's Enquiry, p. 24. 

I The grants of the landed property in England, made by the Conqueror to some of 
his nobles, were excessive. To GeofiQrey, Bishop of Constance, he gave 250 manors ; to 
William Warrenne, 298 ; to Richard de Clare, 171; to Bannlph de Baynard, 85 ; and to 
Roger de Bresli, 149 manors. His uterine brother, Odo, Bishop of Bayenx, and Earl of 
Kent» possessed in that ootmty, and in several othen, 439 manorB. Robert, Earl of 
McMBtagnft, on whom he bestowed the Earldom of Cornwall, had in that and other coun- 
ties, 973 manors ; and Alan Fergant, Earl of Bretagne, had 442 manors. The manor of 
Richmond, in Yorkshire, had 156 lordships ; besides which, the Earl possessed, by the 
gifk of the King, 276 manors in other parts of the kingdom. The King himself pos- 
sessed so fewer than 1432 manors in different parts of the kingdom. A Manor was 
synonimous is the language of the Normans with Villa in Latin. It denoted an ex- 
tensive parcel of land, with a house on it for the accomodation of the lord, and cottages 
for his villeins and slaves. He generally kept a part in his own "hands, and bestowed 
the remainder on two or more tenants, who held of him by military service, or rent, or 
olher prostadoos. 


to tenants on a similar tenure. The Conqueror laid aside the greater part 
of the English laws, and introduced the Norman customsi and even ordered 
all causes to be pleaded in French ; and we are told bj Ingulphus, who lived 
at that time, that he " obliged all the inhabitants of England to do homage, 
and swear fealty to him and his successors.** 

He made a seal also, on the side of which was engrayen, Hoe Normanto* 
rum Chdidmvm nosce patronum, by this the Normans own great William 
Dyke; and on the other side Hoc AngUs siffno Begem faUaris eundum, bjthis 
too, England owns the same their King. He erected numerous fortresses to 
overawe the insulted and oppressed inhabitants, and conscious of the detesta- 
tion in which he was deservedly held, he entertained a perpetual jealousy of 
the English, and in the resistless apprehensions of his guilty mind, he com- 
pelled them to rake out their fires, and extinguish their lights at eight o'clock 
every night, and they were reminded of this duty by the toU of the Curfew. 

The northern counties were slow to submit to the Norman yoke, which, 
however, at last fell on them with terrible weight A violent struggle was 
made for some years to expel the invaders, and York was the rallying point 
for the patriot army. '*Bj the splendour of God," (his usual oath) said 
William, when the men of York rose and massacred his Norman garrison, ''I 
will utterly root out these Northumbrian people, nor will I lay lance in rest 
for other cause, until I have done the deed." The gage was redeemed. St 
Cuthbert, whose awe had caused meaner invaders to stand aloof, himself 
quailed before the withering glance of the Conqueror. The power of dark- 
ness for a time prevailed. William, as we shall see, marched from the Ouse 
to the Tyne, leaving behind him villages destroyed and without inhabitants, 
and scattering the mangled members of the people upon every highway. 
Slaughter gave place to famine, and &mine to pestilence, under the stem 
severity of the Norman tyrant 

Having silenced the disaffected, and constrained the country to a state of 
suUen quietude, he caused a survey to be taken of all the lands in England, 
the four northern counties excepted, on the model of the Book of Winchester, 
compiled by order of Alfred the Great This survey was registered in a 
national record called Dom Boc, Doomsday or Domesday Book, or judgment, 
alluding by metaphor to those books out of which the world shall be judged 
at the last day. It was to serve as a register of the possessions of every 
English freeman, to ascertain what quality of military service was owed by 
the king's chief tenants ; to affix the homage due to him, and to record by 
what tenure the various esstates in Britain were held. This survey was 
imdertaken by the advice and consent of a great council of the kingdom, 


which met immediatdj after the false rumour of the Danes' intended attack 
upon England, m the year 1085, as it is stated in the Saxon Chronicle, and 
it did not occupy long in the execution, suice all the historians i/vho speak of 
it -vary but firom the year 1083 until 1087. There is a memorandum ftt the 
end of the second yolume, stating that it was finished in 1080. The manner 
of performing the survey was expeditious : certain commissioners, called the 
King's Justices, were appointed to travel throughout England, and to register 
Hpcm the oath of the Sheriff, the Lords of each manor, the priests of every 
chmch, the stewards of ererj hundred, the bailiffs and six villeins or hus- 
bandmen of every village, the names of the various places, the holders of 
them in the time of King Edward the Confessor, 40 years previous ; the 
names of the possessors, the quantity of land, the nature of the tenures, and 
the seTeral kinds of property contained in them. All the estates were to be 
then triply rated; namely, as they stood in the reign of the Confessor; as 
they were first bestowed by King William I. ; and as they were at the time 
of the survey. The manuscript itself consists of two volumes, a greater and 
a less. The first of these is a large folio, containing the description of 31 
counties, upon 8852 double pages of vellum, numbered on one side only, and 
written in a small but plain character, each page having a double column. 
Some of the capital letters cmd principal passages are touched with red ink, 
and oUieis have red lines run through them, as if they were intended to he 
obliterated. The smaller volume is of a 4to size, and is written upon 450 
double pages of velltmi, but in a single column, and in a very large and fair 
chancter : it contains three counties, and a part of two others.^^ Through 
all ages this " Book of Judicial verdict " will be held in estimation, not only 
§or its antiquity, but also for its intrinsic value. To the present day it serves 
to show what manor is, and what is not ancient demesne. 

The Normans were remarkable for their courage and valour: though 
seated in the midst of warlike nations, they never made submission without 
an appeal to arms. Their valiant behaviour in the wars of the Holy Land 
exeeediBgly increased their honour; and Roger Hoveden, extolling their 

* The Domesday Book, the most andent of its kind of which any European nation 
can boast, was, until 1695, kept under three locks, the keys of which were in the custody 
of the treasurer and two churchwardens of the Exchequer, but it is now deposited in the 
Chapter House at Westminster, where the fee for consulting it is 08. 8d., and for tran- 
aeripta from it, 4d. per line. Though it is now nearly 800 years old, it is in as fine a 
state of preaenration as if it were the work of yesterday. In the 40th of George m. 
(IBOl), his Majesty, by the recommendation of Parliament, directed that it should be 
printed for the use of the members of the Houses of Lords and Commons, and the 
poUic tibrariea of the kingdom, which orders were duly obeyed. 



deeds of arms, tells us, ." that bold France, after she had experienced the Nor- 
man valour, drew back ; fierce England submitted ; rich Apulia was restoi*ed 
to her flourishing condition ; famous Jerusalem, and renowned Antioch, were 
both subdued." 

The Normans preserved most of the Anglo-Saxon laws and customs, but 
preferred their own trial by batde, as more worthy of warriors and freemen, to 
the fiery ordeals of the English. They separated the spiritual from the 
secular courts ; and the old distinction of classes, viz., Ealdermen, Thanes^ 
Ceorls, and TheawaSj were* preserved under the names of Count or Earl^ 
BaroTij Knighty Esquire, Freetendnt, ViUein or Villain, and Neif, 

In the Domesday Survey we find Yorkshire, as at present, divided into 
three Hidings, called the east, west, and north, and subdivided into Wapen- 
takes, a division peculiar to Yorkshire. And here we shall make a digression, 
for the purpose of explaining some of the ancient titles, tenures, and terms, 
used in the admeasurement of land, beginning with the names of the divisions 
and subdivisions of this county. 

Biding is a term derived from the Saxon Trithing, which implies a third 
part ; a mode of division in England, as has just been observed, now only 
peculiar to Yorkshire, but common in Lincolnshire and some other counties 
in the Anglo-Saxon era. The Trithing man, or Lathgrieve (the chief magis- 
trate of a Riding), presided over three or four or more Hundreds, formed into 
what was called a Trithing, or Lath, or a Rape ; hence the Laths of Kent, 
the Rapes of Sussex, the Parts of Lincoln, and the Trithings or Bidings 
of Yorkshire. 

Wapentake, or Wapontake, is equivalent to Hundred, and this division is 
likewise of Saxon origin, and was probably made in imitation of the Centena 
of Germany. The true origin of the application of the word Hundred to the 
division of a county is uncertain. Some authors have considered the Hun- 
dred as relating to the number of the heads of families, or the number of 
dwellings situated in the division ; others to the number of hides of land 
therein contained. Other writers are of opinion that the Hundred was 
formed by the union of ten tithings, and was presided over by a Hundredary, 
who was commonly a Tfiane, or nobleman, residing within the Hundred. 
The word Wapentake is evidently of warlike origin. In the northern counties 
the frequent occasion for militaiy array, predominating over the peaceful pur- 
poses of civil jurisdiction, before the union of England and Scotland, the 
subdivision of these counties received warlike titles, as Wards and Wapen- 
takes. The court of the chief officer, or Hundredary, commonly met once a 
month, and all the members came to it in their arms, from which it obtained 


the name of Wapentac, or Wapentake, which literally signifies '* To Arms," 
from Wapen, weapons, and tac, touch. When any one came to take upon 
him the government of a Wapentake, upon a day appointed, all that owed 
suit and service to that Hundred came to meet their new governor at the 
usual place of meeting. " He, upon his arrival, alighting from his horse, set 
up the lance on end (a custom used amongst the Romans by the Prsetor, at 
the meetings of the Centumviri), and according to custom, took fealty of them ; 
the ceremony of which was, that all who were present touched the governor's 
lance with their lances, in token of confirmation, whereupon the whole meeting 
was called a Wapentake, inasmuch as by a mutual touch of each other's arms, 
they had entered into a confederacy or agreement to stand by one another."* 

Tithmgs were so caUed because ten freemen householders, with their fami- 
lies, composed one; and a number of these tithings (probably ten, or perhap^ 
one hundred) originally composed a superior division, called a hundred, 
wapentake, ward, &c., in each of which a court was held yearly for the trial 
of causes. An indefinite number of these divisions form a County or Shire, 
the civil jurisdiction of which is confined to the Shire-reve, or Sheriff, who is 
appointed annually. Anciently the Shire-genot, or Folk-mote, as the highest 
court in the county was then called, was held twice a year, and presided over 
by the Bishop or his deputy, and the Alderman or his vicegerent, the 

Judge Blackstone says that King Alfred the Great divided England into 
counties, hundreds, and tithings, to prevent the rapine and disorders which 
formerly prevailed in the realm ; the inhabitants of each district being then 
made responsible for the lawless acts of each other. But shires and counties 
are mentioned before the accession of that monarch. Soon after the intro- 
duction of Christianity in the seventh century, the kingdom was divided into 
Parishes and Bishoprics. 

The principal Htles of honour amongst the Saxons were Ethding, Prince of 
the blood ; Chancellor, assistant to the King in giving judgments ; Alderman^ 
OT Ealderman, Governor or Viceroy. This word is derived from aM or old, 
like senator in Latin. Provinces, cities, and sometimes wapentakes, had 
their aldermen to govern them, determine law suits, &c. This office gave 
place to the title of Earl, which is Danish, and was introduced by Canute. 
Sherds, or Shir-rieve, the Alderman's deputy, and chosen by him, sat as 
judge in some courts, and saw sentence executed. Heartoghan signified 
Generals of armies or Dukes. Hengist, in the Saxon Chronicle, is Hear- 

* Bswdwen's Domesday Gloss., p. 82. 


togh. Reeve, among the English Savons, was a steward. Witan or Witss 

(i.e. wise-men) were the magistrates or lawyers. Thanes (i.e. servants) were 

officers of the crown, whom the King recompensed with lands, to be held of 

him, with some obligation of service or homage. There were other lords of 

lands and vassals, who enjoyed the title of Thanes, but were distingoished 

from the King's Thanes. The Aldermen and Dukes were all King*8 Thanes. 

These were the great Thanes, and were succeeded by tha Barons, which title 

was brought in by the Normans. Mass Thanes were those who held lands 

in fee of the church. Middle Thanes were such as held very small estates 

of the King, or parcels of land of the King*s greater Thanes. They were 

called by the Normans, vavassors or yavassoiies. Ceorl (whenoe our word 

churl) was a countryman or artisan, who was a freeman. Ceorls, who had 

Acquired possession of five hides of land with a large house court, and bell to 

caU together their servants, were raised to the rank of Thanes of the lowest 

class. The Villeins — " Ascripti vill® seu glebse " — ^were labourers bound to 

the soil, and transferred with it from one owner to another ; in this and 

other respects they were little better than slaves. According to the enume* 

ration in the Domesday Book, these Ceorls^ under the names of villeiiiSy 

cottars, and bordars, amounted in England to 183,094 ; whilst the freemen 

were only 80,005 ; and the slaves, 26,552. The burghers, many of whom 

were ceorls of the same description, were numbered at 17,106. 

A Hide, or a Carucate of laud, is generally estimated at 120 acres, and 
was considered to employ one plough for a year — hence it is sometimes called 
a Plough-land. It is, by some, derived from the Saxon hyden-tectum^ the 
roof of a house ; this quantity of land being considered as a proper annexa* 
tion to a farm house. Under the feudal system most lands were held under 
a military tenure. AU the lands in the kingdom, soon after the Conquest, 
were said to be "held of the King;" and the great vassals of the crown, 
both lay and clerical, were forced to have a certain number of horsemen 
completely armed, and to maintain them in the field for the space of forty 
days. England was so distributed by these means, that William the Con* 
queror had always at his command an army of 60,000 Knights. By t^e 
term Knights must be understood those who held Knight's fees, not persons 
who had obtained the order of knighthood. A Knight's fee consisted of two 
hides of land, or two hides and a half; and a mesne tenant, who had more 
than a single Knight s fee, was called a bavasor, a term applied to any vassal 
who held a military fief of a tenant in chief to the crown. He who held of 
a bavasor, was called a balvasitii, and each of these might enfeeoff another to 
hold of him by Elnight's service. A Barotiy was Knight's service embaroned, 


or enlaiiged. Thus eyeiy nobleman was by tenure a soldier ; his military 
duly was not confined within the kingdom, but extended abroad at the com- 
maud of the King ; and not singly, but with such a number of Knights as 
bis barony, by its several fees, maintained. AU the great landowners were 
soldiers, paid and maintained by the lands they possessed, as they likewise 
paid and maintained those freeholders of an inferior rank, who held Knight*s 
fees under them. The nulitaiy tenure, or that by Knight service, consisted 
of what were deemed the most ftee and honourable services, but in their 
nature they were unavoidably uncertain, as to the time of peiformance ; the 
second species of tenure, or free socage, consisted also of free and honourable 
services, but were reduced to an absolute certainty. This tenure subsists to 
this day, and in it, since the statute of Charles 11., almost every other species 
of tenure has been merged. 

The chief tenants of lords generally divided their property into two portions, 
one of which, the principal farm or manor, on which the rest depended, and 
to which they owed suit and service, was called the Dememe, 

A Virgate or Yard of land differed in extent at various times, and in various 
parts of the kingdom, from being measured with a rood (virga) of the length 
of a yaid. An Oxgcmg or BouvaU was as much land as an ox could till, or 
about H^ acres. A Perch was 5^ yards ; an Acre, 100 square perches ; a 
Canteate^ Carve^ or Plotighrland, was generally 8 oxgangs. Bereicick$ are 
manors within manors. Heriot is a fine paid to the lord at the death of a 
land holder or change of tenant. 

The other terms, most common in connection with the tenure of land, 
were Sac, Soc, Thol, Theam, Infangtheof, and View of Frank Pledge. AU 
these terms are in ancient law, and originated from the old Saxon. Sac and 
Soc means the jurisdiction of holding pleas, and imposing fines, and the right 
which a lord possessed of exercising justice on his vassals, and compelling 
them to be suitors at his court. Sockmen were those who held land on 
lease, and their land was called sockland. They were comparatively free 
tenants, and held their land generally by the service of ploughing their lord's 
own demesne land, a certain number of days in the year. According to 
some, Soc in Saxon means the handle of a plough ; but others teU us that it 
naeans liberfy or privilege. Socage then, or free socage, denotes a tenure by 
any certain and determinate service. 

Britton, describing lands in socage tenure, imder the name of fraunke 
forme, says that they are lands and tenements, whereof the nature of the fee 
is charged by feofi&nent out of chivalry for certain yearly services, and in 
respect whereof neither homage, ward, marriage, or relief can be demanded. 


Those who preserved their lands from the innovations of the Norman con- 
queror were said to hold them mfree and common socage. 

Thol was the liherty to take, as well as to he free from, toll ; and Theam^ 
or Theim, was the prerogative of having, restraining, and judging hondmen, 
and villeins with their children, goods and chattels, in the court of the person 
possessing the privilege of Theam. Infangtheof is a criminal jurisdiction, 
hj which thieves, found in the territories of the possessor of this privilege, 
might he punished without appeal. By virtue of these powers offenders were 
tried for thefts and other misdemeanors, and sentenced in the lord*s court, 
and even executed on the gallows helonging to the manor. 

View of Frank Pledge meant that twice in the year, upon such days as 
the possessor of the privilege shall think fit, he shall have a view of all the 
frank pledges of his tenants. 

Waifs were goods which had heen stolen, and thrown away hy the thief in 
his flight, for fear of heing apprehended. These were given hy law to the 
Edng, as a punishment upon the owner for not himself pursuing the felon, 
and taking away his goods from him. 

From the Domesday Book we learn that at the Conquest the county of 
York was divided among some of the most powerful and leading men of the 
Conqueror^s government. Their names are entered in the following order :— 

'< I. Land of the King in Yorkshire. U. The Archhishop of York,* and 
of the canons, and of his men. HE. The Bishop of Durham f and his men. 
IV. The Ahbot of York. V. Earl Hugh," Robert de Eue, Earl of Eue, in 
Normandy. ' " VI. Robert, Earl of Morton," half brother to the Conqueror, 
by whom he was created Earl of Cornwall, 1068. " VII. Earl Alan," son of 
Flathald, obtained the castle of Oswaldestre fifom the Conqueror. '' Vlll. 
Robert de Todeni," Lord of Belvoir, county Lincoln, oh. 1088 "IX. Ber- 
enger de Todeni. X. Hbert de Laci,'* Lord of Pontefract "XI. Roger de 
Busli" held the manor of Hallam (Sheffield) under the countess Judith, anno 
1080, ob. 1009. " Xn. Robert Malet," great chamberlam of England, but 
subsequently disinherited and banished. "XTTT. William de Warren," Earl 
Warren, in Normandy, created Earl of Surrey by William IE., died 1089. 
" Xmi. William de Percy," sumamed Algernon, obtained divers lands from 
William L, ob. circa 1096. " XV. Drago de Holdemesse," also called Drue 
Debeverer, came into England with the Conqueror, and retired into Flanders 
some years afterwards. "XVI. Ralph de Mortimer," came into England 

* Thomas, canon of Baion, in Normandy, succeeded in 1070. 
f Walcher consecrated circa 1072. 


with the Conqueror, and obtained the castle of Wigmore. "XVU. "Ralph 
Paganel," held divers lordships at the general survey, living 1089. " X Vni. 
Walter de Aincourt. XIX. Gilbert de Gant,'' son of Baldwin, Earl of Flan- 
ders, obtained divers lordships from the Conqueror. " XX. Gilbert Tison. 
XXI. Hugh, son of Baldric. XXII. Emeis de Burum," held thirtj-two 
lordships in the county ; he was the ancestor of the present family of Byron. 
" XXm. Osbert de Arcis. XXTTTT. Odo BaHstaiius. XXV. Richard, son 
of Erfest XXVI. Goisfrid AlseHn. XXVH. Alberic de Coci. XXVHI. 
Gospatric. XXIX. The King*s Thanes.*' 

An old writer informs us, that the Conqueror rewarded his followers with 
these estates in this county: — ^To Hugh de Abrincis, 7 lordships; Alan 
Rnfus, 166 ; Robert Earl of Morton and Cornwall, 196 ; WiUiam Mallet, 32 ; 
Robert Todenai, 2 ; Ralph de Mortimer, 18 ; William de Percy, 80 ; Walter 
Deincourt, 4 ; Goisfrid Alsehn, or Hanselin, 8 ; Ralph Paganel, 15 ; Roger 
de Buisti, 49 ; Robert de Brus, in the West Riding, 48, and in the North 
Riding, 51 ; Drago de Beverer, aU Holdemess, being 60 lordships; and to 
!Evni^u8 Burun, 32 lordships. 

Aiter the Conquest much of the land passed into the possession of the 
church, and the reUgious fraternities, but at the Reformation most of it re- 
verted to the Crown, and was subsequently granted for services to persons in 
royal favour, or sold for the use of the King. 

Though it is a generally received opinion that England was divided into 
Counties and Shires, or Shrievalties, towards the 9th century, yet it does not 
sfypear that this change took place in the ancient kingdom of Northumbria 
earlier than the middle of the 11th century. At the time of the Norman 
survey it contained six Shires, under the designation of Eureunckmre, 
Riehmundeseire, LoncMtreteire, Caplande (afterwards called the Bishopric of 
Durham), Westmerilonde, and Cvmbrelonde, 

In 1068, Earl Morcar, who was still Grovemor of York, with his brother, 
the Earl of Chester, and their nephew, Blethevin, King of Wales, finding 
that Duke William*s policy was to root out the ancient nobihty, and to de- 
grade the native inhabitants to the condition of slaves, resolved to oppose him. 
On hearing of their designs, he created one of his cruel satellites, named 
Copai, Earl of Northumbria, and despatched him down to Durham with a 
guard of 1,200 men. But the Northumbrians, headed by Earl Cospatrick, 
and Edgar, the Etheling (the latter being the lawful heir to the crown of 
England), marched to Durham by night, and attacked and slew Copsi and 
all his men. The insurgents then proceeded to York, where they were re- 
ceived with joy and gladness by Earls Morcar and Edwin, as well as by the 


citizens. William once more drew his conquering sword, and advanced 
rapidly towards York, at the head of a powerful army. The Northumbrian 
chiefs, finding themselves unable to withstand him, sent Edgar back to 
Scotland, and submitted themselves to the Conqueror, bj whom they were 
readily pardoned. The citizens, too, hearing of his lenity, went out to meet 
him, and delivered to him the keys of the city. They also were apparently 
received into favour, but a heavy fine was levied upon them, and two castles 
in the city were shortly after fortified by the Conqueror, and strongly gar- 
risoned with Norman soldiers. On the arrival of William, the Saxon nobles, 
who had manifested a disposition to shake off the Norman yoke, fled into 
Scotland for protection. Among these were Morcar, Edwin, and Gospatrick. 
Elated by his success, William sent a herald into Scotland to demand the 
Etheling, and the English lords ; but Malcolm refusing to comply with the 
mandate, and knowing that the Conqueror would revenge the denial, invited 
the King of Denmark to unite with the English and Scotch in an attempt to 
expel the Norman. The Danish monarch soon united in the confederacy, and 
sent a fleet of 250 ships, well laden with troops, commanded by his brother 
Esbom, or Osbem, with the two sons of the King, Harold and Canute, as 
well as other distinguished personages. This fleet entered the Humber in 
1069, and the forces being joined by the English and Scotch, they marched 
direct to York, where they were met by the Atheling and a large number 
of the English exiles, who had arrived fix)m Scotland for the purpose. The 
Norman garrison in the castles prepared for a siqge, and on the 19th of Sep- 
tember, 1069, they set fire to some houses in the suburbs, to prevent them 
being made useful to the besiegers. But the wind being high, the flames 
spread &rther than was designed, and burnt down a great part of the city, 
including the Cathedral, and the inyaluable library placed there by King 
Egbert, in a.d. 800. During the great confusion, into which the imexpected 
ravages of the fire threw the garrisons, the Danes and English valiantly 
attacked the fortresses, entered the city sword in hand, and cut the Ncnrmans 
(about 8,000 in number) to pieces. All who escaped this dreadful slaughter 
were the Sherifif of the county, his wife, and two children, with a few others 
who were found in the castle. 

Waltheof, 5th Earl of Northumberland, and son of Siward, was now ap- 
pointed Governor of the City, with a strong garrison of English and Scotch 
soldiers under his command; and the Danes retired to a good situation, 
between the Humber and Trent, to wait the Normans. William, who was 
hunting in the forest of Dean when he received the first news of this disaster, 
swore his &vourite oath (see page 112) that he would destroy all the people of 


the north. Hearing that the garriBon of York had been taken bj his enemiei, 
he was much exasperated, and hastened at the head of a powerful armj into 
the north. He spread his camps oyer the country for the space of 100 miles, 
and then the execution of his tow began.^^ Alured, a monk of Beyerley, who 
wrote in the Idth century, states, " that the Conqueror destroyed men, women, 
and children, from York, eren to the western sea;" and the historian of 
Malmsbury tells us, that no less than 100,000 persons perished at that time 
In a district 60 miles in length. The whole country between York and Dur- 
ham was laid waste so effectually, that for nine years afterwards the ground 
remained untilled ; and many of the wretched inhabitants, who had escaped 
the sknghter, were reduced to the necessity of eating dogs, cats, and even their 
own species, to prolong a miserable existence. This account is confirmed 
by Boger de Hoyeden, and Simon of Durham, as well as by the concur- 
rent testimony of all the historians of those times. When the Conqueror 
amved befinre the city, he summoned the Governor to surrender, but Waltheof 
sternly reused, and set his threats at defiance. The wily Norman now had 
reooQiBe to bribery: for a large sum of money, and permission to plunder the 
sea ooast^ the fisuithless and corrupt Danish General, Osbert, agreed to quit 
the country as soon as the spring would permit William lost no time in 
polling fixrwaid the si^^e* He attempted to take the dty by storm, after 
making a large breach in the wall with engines, but was repulsed with great 
kfls; Waltheof, himself^ according to William of Malmsbury, having stood 
■ingly in the breach, and cut down several of the Normans who attempted to 
nunmt it From the same historian we learn that about this time a severe 
battle was fought near York between the Normans and a powerful army, 
probably of Caledonians, who came to the reUef of the besieged; in which 
the NormanSf however, were victorious. 

Affcer a gallant defence of six months, York was obliged through &mine to 
capitnlaAe; and though the conditions of the surrender were favourable to the 
besieged, yet the Conqueror attributing the first success of the Danes to the 
treachery of the citizens, took signal rengeance upon them, put the soldiers 
to die 8Word« and burnt the dty to the ground. York never enturaly over- 
came this shock, nor recovered its ancient splendour. The Conqueror pro- 
fcssed great fiiendship&r Waltfaeotthe Governor, who had so nobly resisted 
hhon; and the more firmly to attach him to his interest, he being a man of 
p r e om inent note^ he gave him in marriage Judith, his niece, daughter of 
Maud. Covnte^ of Alb«nnarie» his uterine sister, and at the same time 

• Helittihed* 8es also Tonsil Hkt Bag., vd. L, p. 70. 


restored to him the Earldoms of Northampton and Huntingdon, which be- 
longed to Siward, his fiather. Waltheof having become involved in the revolt 
of the Borons, for the expulsion of the King, in the 10th year of this 
reign (1076), he was arraigned for conspiracy, and was condemned and 
executed at Winchester, in the same year, and his decapitated trunk was 
treated with every possible indignity. The body having lain for some time 
in the cross-way, where it was buried, was afterwards removed to Croyland 
or Crowland Abbey, in Lincolnshire, where it was honourably sepulchred. 
And thus perished the brave Waltheof, the last of the Saxon Earls. The 
execution of this nobleman is observed to be the first instance of beheading 
in this kingdom. His widow, the Countess Judith, not being a participant 
in her husband's treason, was allowed to retain his lands, manors, and Earl- 
doms. Historians, however, have accused her of treachery towards her lord ; 
for though his innocence was attested by Archbishop Lanfranc, yet at her 
instigation, who is said to have effected a second marriage, he was con- 
demned. Ingulphus, a monk of Croyland, and her contemporary, has not 
scrupled to describe her by the execrable appellation, impiissima Jezebel, 

York, before it was burnt by the Norman, was considered by Hardinge, 
superior to London ; and was, according to the author of the PoUchronicon, 
''as fedr as the city of Home, from the beauty and magnificence of its 
buildings." Harrison very justly styled it Altera Eoma; and Leland tells us 
that it was so large, that its suburbs extended to the villages a mile distant. 

Li 1071, the embers of civil war being rekindled by the jealousy of 
William, the influence of Edwin and Morcar was judged dangerous ; and the 
King thought it expedient to secure their persons. Edwin, whilst en- 
deavouring to escape towards the borders of Scotland, was betrayed by three of 
his vassals, and he fell with twenty of his fidthfiil adherents, fighting against 
his pursuers. The traitors presented his head to William, who rewarded 
their services with a sentence of perpetual banishment. His brother Morcar 
fled to the standard of Hereward, erected in the " Camp of Refuge,*' in the 
Isle of Ely, Cambridgeshire ; and with the Bishop of Durham, and many 
Saxon nobles, was afterwards condemned by William to perpetual imprison- 
ment In 1073, the Conqueror being at Durham, summoned before his 
tribunal, Cospatrick, the Earl of Northumberland, and charged him with old 
offences, which it was supposed had been long ago forgiven — ^the massacres 
of the Normans at Durham and York. He was banished by the sentence of 
the court; and having retired to Scotland, Malcolm gave >^iTp the castle and 
demesne of Dunbar. 

The people of England finding further resistance to the Norman useless^ 


submitted to his yoke in sullen despair. Even Edgar the Etheling consented 
to solicit a livelihood of the man whose ambition had robbed him of a crown. 
William granted him the first place at court, an apartment in the palace, and 
a yearly pension of 865 pounds of silver. 

Nothing of importance is recorded of Yorkshire from this period until the 
year 1137, when, on the 4th of June in that year, the city, which had par- 
tially risen from its ashes, was destroyed by an accidental fire, which burnt 
down the Cathedral, the Abbey of St. Mary, St. Leonard's Hospital, thirty- 
nine parish churches in the city, and Trinity church in the suburbs, besides 
many streets and public buildings.* 

Whilst the civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Maud, or 
Matilda, raged with destructive fury, David, King of Scotland, uncle to the 
Empress, espoused her cause, and with a powerful army of Normans, Ger- 
mans, Saxons, Cumbrian Britons, Northumbrians, Ficts, and Scots, three 
times invaded the northern provinces of England, and laid w^te the country 
as far as the city of York. In these expeditions the army of the Scottish 
King coiiducted the war with the ferocity of savages. They profaned the 
churches, burnt the monasteries and villages, promiscuously slaughtered 
children, aged people, and the defenceless ; and exercised the most unheard 
of barbarities upon the natives in general. Pregnant women were ripped up, 
and the infants cut to pieces. The fair females, which they spared in their 
route, and which were generally distinguished by their birth or beauty, were 
stripped of their clothes, tied to each other with thongs, and driven at the 
point of the spear to Scotland; where, after suffering every kind of indignity, 
thej were retained as slaves to their captors, or bartered by them for cattle 
to the neighbouring chieftains. 

Their conduct so incensed the powerful Norman Barons, that they re- 
solved, unanimously, at the suggestion of Thurston, Archbishop of York, who 
was then Lieutenant-Governor of the North, to repel the invaders; and even 
the Saxon-English were so exasperated against the Scots, that they forgot 
their hatred of the Normans, in the pleasing hope of taking vengeance upon 
sach cruel enemies. The aged Archbishop succeeded in uniting all to fight 
for their countiy, their families, and their God. David, hearing of their 
intentions, drew his army from before York, and retired northwards. The 
chief of the Barons who joined in this struggle, were William le Gros, or de 
Albermarle, Walter de Gaunt, Eobert and Adam de Brus, Roger de Mowbray, 

• On the previous dny, the Cathedral of Bochester had been bnmt; and on the 27th 
of the same diaasbcous month, the dty of Bath was nearly destroyed by fire. 


Walter L' Espec, Gilbert and William de Lacy^ and William de Percy. At 
the appointed time, the nobles, with their Yaaaala, repaired to York, and 
were met bj the paroohial clergy, with the bravest of their paziahionera ; 
and after spending three days in fasting and derotiony and swearing before 
the Archbishop that they would never desert each other, they marched 
against the enemy, under the command of that prelate, as fiir as Thirsk 
Gasile, then a stronghold of the Mowbrays. There Thurston resigned his 
authority to Balph, Bishop of the Oikney Isles, William le Qros, and Walter 

On the 33nd of August, 1188, the two armies met on Guton Moor, near 
Northallerton, and a terrible battle ensued. This engagement is called the 
BatUe of the Standard, from a high standard round which the English as- 
sembled, and which was a tall mast of a vessel, strongly fastened into the 
framework of a carriage upon wheels, having at the top a crucifix, a silver 
pix containing a consecrated host ; and from which were suspended the con* 
secrated banners of the three patron saints — St. Peter of Yorii, St. John of 
Beverley, and St Wilfred of Ripon. The standard was guarded by a chosen 
band of knights, who had sworn rather to die than yield it to the hands of 
the enemy. After the Bishop had made an oration to the army, from the 
carriage, and had given them the blessing, which they received on their 
knees, they all shouted " Amen," and rose to receive the shock of the enemy. 

But the spirit of discord and disunion reigned in the Scottish camp, and 
this is not surprising, considering the many different races of which it was 
composed. David had intended that the battle should be commenced by the 
men-at-arms and archers, in whom his chief strength consisted ; but the men 
of Galloway, who fought with long slender spears, and who dii^layed great 
bravery during the campaign, insisted upon taking that post of honour. 
After an angry discussion, the King was obliged to yield the van to the G$l' 
wegians. The English drew up in a compact body, the spearmen and 
archers in front, and the heavy armed chivalry in the rear, the sacred banner 
towering bright above them all. The Scots were formed in four lines, the 
men of Galloway (or Picts) in front, who began the battle, wildly rushing on 
their opponents, and throwing themselves, like a tempest, upon the En^sh 
spearmen. For a moment the English were staggered, but whilst thus held 
at bay, the matchless archery of the native English was brought to bear 
with tremendous effect upon the enemy. The naked Galwegiana were on 
the point of turning before these terrible dischai^es of barbed death, when 
the Scottish men-at-arms, commanded by Prince Henry, coming to their 
rescue, dashed with such impetuosity upon the English rank^ that they were 


torn asonder, and yictorjr appeared to snule upon the Scottish monarch. 
The conflict now grew hotter ; it was " Lance to lance, and horse to horse *' 
— when lo ! the Scottish forces waver — they are seized by a panic — a rumour 
bad spread through the ranks that the King was slain ; and though he him- 
self, hehnet in hand, hastens from rank to rank, to reassure them that he is 
jet alive— he fails in rallying them — they fly, and are ruthlessly slaughtered 
hy their pursuers ; and the battle is lost. In rain the King and his brave 
son Henry, and a few faithful nobles, maintained the combat; notwith- 
standing the astonishing proofs of valour and intrepidity which they displayed, 
fttej were nobly defeated by the newly-raised army of the " chariot-mounted 
banners." The Scottish army consisted of d7,000 men, and nearly one half 
are said to have perished in the battle and flight on that fetal day ; and, as 
we have no account of prisoners, it is probable that no quarter was given. 
Thelosson the English side is not stated; that of the Scoto is most probably 
guess work. 

There are no indications of hillocks or moun^ to be seen in the neighbour- 
hood, to mark the graves of the dain ; and the only name of a place bearing 
a xvfenmce to such an event, is " Scot Pit Lane,** applied to a green lane, a 
little to the north of the spot where stood the consecrated banner of the 
Englidi army, and which is stiU known as " Standard Hill.*' Some writers 
suppose that the dead, excepting a select few, were never buried. The fleld 
of this— ^ne of the most bloody battles recorded in the history of this king- 
dom — was an open level common, upon which little advantage could be gained 
over an enemy by selection of ground, as it afforded no strong posts, or easily 
deCmded positions. 

This agnal defeat so overawed the Scoto, that the people of the north of 
Ea^and i^jpear to have been secure from their incursions for a long period. 
For seven centuries York had exhibited a series of sanguinary wars, and re- 
peated desolations ; but from the date of this battle, it ei\joyed fer some 
ages the blessings of peace, and again rose to wealth and importance. 

Li A.D. 1160, just dd years after the terrible conflagration in the reign of 
Stephen, Henry 11. held in York the first meeting said to be distinguished 
in histoiy by the name of Parliament* Malcolm, King of Scotland, accom- 

• The word Psriiament is derived from Porter la ment-'to speak one*i mind. Some 
••gr that this 'word ParUament does not occur nntil the above year, and that before that 
time it was nsnally denominated the King's Court, or Great Council. Drake's Ebor., p. 
as. Camden, however, thinks that this word was used in the 16th of Heniy I. Cor. 
Dise., tdL 1, p. 804. Blaokstone says it was first applied to general assemblies of the 
S ta tes, aadw Loois YIL, in Franoe, about the middle of the lath eentory; and that the 


panied by all his Barons, Abbots, and Prelates, attended and did homage to 
Henry, in the Cathedral, for his kingdom of Scotland, and acknowledged him 
and his successors his superior lords. In 1171 Henry called another con-, 
vention of Bishops and Barons at York, to which he summoned William, the 
successor of Malcolm, to do homage for his kingdom ; and in memorial of his 
subjection, the Scotch Eang deposited his breast plate, spear, and saddle, on 
the altar of St. Peter, in the Cathedral church. About this period York 
appears to have been eminent for trade, for a few years later, the King, under 
pretence of raising money for the Holy Wars, imposed upon his subjects a 
contribution of one-tenth of their moveables, and demanded from the city of 
York, one-half of the sum that he required from London. 

In the beginning of the reign of Richard I, (sumamed Cceur de Lion — 
the hen-hearted) a general massacre of the resident Jews took place, under 
circumstances of peculiar atrocity. The crusades to the Holy Land, to rescue 
Jerusalem from the hands of the Saracens, tended to inflame the zeal of the 
nation against all men not bearing the name of Christian ; besides, the pre- 
judices of the age had stigmatized money lenders at interest, with the odious 
name of usurers. Another cause of the implacable hatred, and pubhc hos- 

first mention of it in our statute law, is in the preamble to the statnte of Westminster, 
i., 8, Edw. I., A.D. 1272. Com., vol. i, p. 146. Ingolplius, who died in 1109, used the 
word Parliament for a meeting of the Chapter of a Convent. When the Norman Con- 
queror of Britain distributed the landed property of the kingdom amongst his numerous 
followers, the Barons, who held their land in ctxpite^ or directly under the King, formed 
the Council of the Bealm, or the Parliament of that period. (See page 111.) But in 
process of time, when the lands became subdivided, and the number of Barons increased 
to a prodigious multitude, the great Barons only were summoned by the King, and the 
others assembled at the writ of the Sheriff, and were placed in a separate house. This 
was the origin of the two Houses of Parliament. (Blackst. Com. Archb., vol. i., p. 898.) 
When the towns of England had sprung into importance as marts of industry, the 
Crown, in order to neutralise the power of the nobility, called ui)on them to send members 
to Parliament — ^but at long intervals : and that may be considered the real origin of the 
third estate in the Bealm. The Crown recognised a body, which it called the Commons, 
because it feared the nobility, and, wishing to hold the balance of authority, it pitted the 
two extremes of society against each oUier. But these Parliaments, as regarded the true 
interests of the country at large, were mere mockeries — for they were only summoned 
when the Crown required the consent of the Commons to laws passed to strengthen 
itself, to levy taxes, to curb the power of the church by the statute de mortmain; or of 
the nobles, by the statute de donis. This, until the revolution of 1688, was all the share , 
the Commons had in the government — for the tradition of an hereditaiy monarchy in 
alliance with an hereditary nobility was faithfully observed; and no commoner, except 
through the doors of the church or the law, was ever raised to a high office in the state. 
A dozen of such elevations in six centuries wiU cover all these promotions from the raaks 
of the people. 


tilify of the English people, to the Children of Israel, was, that thej had 
heen introduced by the Norman Conqueror, and a number of them settled in 
York soon after the Conquest, whose immense increase of wealth, eventually 
proved to them a source of terrible evil. The King, who was crowned with 
great pomp at Westminster, on the 3rd of September, 1189, with a view to 
obtain popular flEivour, strictly forbid the presence of any Jew whatever at 
his coronation. Notwithstanding this prohibition, two of the most wealthy 
Jews of York, named Benedict and Jocenus, repaired to London, with a 
pompous retinue, in order to meet their brethren, and to offer some valuable 
presents to the King, as a peace-offering at his coronation. On the day of 
the ceremonial, many of the Jews mixed in the crowd, and the populace, 
with a savage ferocity, commenced a general massacre of them in London, 
plundered their property, burnt down their houses, and destroyed numbers 
' of their wives and children. Benedict and Jocenus were attacked ; and the 
former being grievously wounded, was dragged into a church, where he was 
forced to renounce Judaism, and submit to the ceremony of baptism. But 
the next day, when the heroic Israelite was brought into the presence of the 
King, and asked whether he was a Christian or no, he boldly answered, 
that he was a Jew, and should die in the fiaith of his fathers. The King 
ordered him to be restored to his friends, but he soon afterwards died from 
the effect of his bruises. Jocenus returned unhurt to York, where a still 
more awful fate awaited him. During a very boisterous night, the city of York, 
either by accident or design, took fire, and the flames rapidly spread in all 
directions. This calamity was seized upon to renew the persecutions against 
the Jews ; and while the citizens were engaged in extinguishing the flames, 
the house of Benedict was violently entered by the lawless rabble, who mur- 
dered the widow and children of the deceased Jew, and seized aU the property 
upon which they could lay their rapacious hands. Alarmed at this outrage, 
Jocenus sought refuge in the castle, to which he removed his family, and the 
whole of his wealth ; and his example was followed by nearly all the Jews in 
the city. In a few days the house of Jocenus shared the fate of that of 
Benedict. The Governor of the castle having, some business without its 
walls, left it for a short time in the possession of the Jews, who, fearing that 
he might have joined in the conspiracy with their enemies, refused to re-admit 
him on his return. The Sheriff, enraged at this indignity, issued his writ of 
posse eamit€Uus, to raise the country to besiege and take the castle. Though 
an innumerable company of armed men, as well from the city as from the 
sorrounding country, rose simultaneously, and begirt the castle, yet the wiser 
and the better sort of citizens stood aloof from a flood that might soon over- 


whelm themselTes. Roger de Hoveden infonns us that the Jews, now dmen 
to extremitiesy held a council, and offered a very large sum of money to be 
allowed to escape with their lives, but this offer was rejected. We are told 
by Matthew Paris, that the council was then addressed by a certain foreign 
rabbi, or doctor of their laws, who had visited England for the instruction of 
the Jews, as follows: — "Men of Israel, our God, whose laws I have presh 
cribed to you, has oommanded that we should at any time be ready to die 
for those laws ; and now, when death looks us in the face, we have only to 
choose whether we should prolong a base and infismous life, or embrace a 
gallant and glorious death. If we fall into the hands of our enemies, at their 
will and pleasure we must die ; but our Creator, who gave us life, did also 
ei\join that with our own hands, and of our own accord, we should devoutly 
restore it to him again, rather than await the cruelty of an enemy." This 
invitation to imitate the example of the followers of Josephus, in the cave of 
Jotapata, was embraced by many of the Jews, but others choose rather to try 
the clemency of the Christians, upon which the rabbi further said, *' Let those 
whom this good and pious discourse displeases, separate themselves, and be 
cut off fiom the congregation! We, for the sake of our paternal law, despise 
this transitory life." Before the selfnlevoted victims began to execute the 
sentence upon each other, they set fire to the castle, and committed all their 
property to the flames, to prevent it falling into the hands of their enemies. 
The rabbi then directed that the husbands should cut the throats of their 
own wives and children; and Jocenus b^an the execution, by applying the 
knife to the throats of his wife and five children. The example was speedily 
feUowed by the other masters of fsunilies; and afterwards, as a mark of pecu- 
liar honour, the rabbi cut the throat of Jocenus himself 1 The last of the 
victims was the selfnlevoted adviser of the deed, who was probably the <»ily 
actual suicide. 

The survivors then announced the horrid catastrophe which had be&Uen 
their brethren, to the besiegers, casting the dead bodies of tiie victims over 
the wall to convince them of the reality of their story. At the same time 
they si^)plicated for mercy, promising to become Christians. Pretending to 
compassionaie their sufferings, and promising pardon on the condition named, 
the merciless barbarians obtained admission into the castie, and dew every 
<me of the poor Jews, though to the last they cried out for baptiam. Tho 
diabolical murderers then hastened to the Catiiedral, where the bonds (for 
loans), which the Christians had given to tlie Jews, were deposited, and 
breaking open tiie chests, burnt in the midst of the nave of the church, all 
the dooumfidls they contained* thus fireeing themselves and others from their 


obligations.* This massacre, in which it is supposed that not less than from 
1,500 to 2,000 Jews in York fell victims, occurred on the lltli of March, 
1190. And in spite of a proclamation in their favour by the King, the 
same spirit of persecution manifested itself in many of the large towns of tlie 
kingdom about that period. These horrors are imiformly reprobated by 
the historians of the time. When the King, who had embarked for the 
Holy Land, heard of these enormities, he sent orders to his Chancellor and 
Regent, William Longchamp, Bishop of Ely, to go down into Yorkshire, and 
execute strict justice upon the offenders, but many of the miscreants had fled 
from, the city, and the remaining citizens declared that the inhabitants of tlio 
neighbouring towns were the principal offenders. However he deposed, and 
committed the Sheriff and Governor to prison ; took away one hundred hos- 
tages ; repaired the castle ; inflicted flnes upon a few of the citizens ;f and 
gave the government of the county to his brother, Osbert de Longchamp. 
Notwithstanding this sanguinary persecution, a new colony of Jews soon 
settled in York, where they remained till the time of Edward L 

The reader of English history knows that Richard L, so glorious to military 
fame, and so oppressive to his subjects, after performing prodigies of personal 
valotir in Palestine, and becoming a hero of romance, had the misfortune to 
be trepanned in his way home, by Leopold, Duke of Austria, who sold him 
to the Emperor of Germany ; and that he was transported by his new pro- 
prietor from Vienna to Mentz, and other places, where he was generally kept 
in rigorous confinement, till a treaty was concluded, by which the Emperor 
extorted from him, or rather from the people of England, 100,000 marks of 
silver, of the weight of Cologne. To raise this immense sum, as well as to 
leplenish the exhausted treasury, recourse was had to the sale of offices of 
trust and honour ; the situations of Sheriff and Justiciary were disposed of 
to the highest bidder ; and Eichard declared that he would sell the city of 
London if he could find a purchaser. The Corporation charters too, of the 
various boroughs, were renewed or confirmed, on payment of heavy fines. 
In 1195, Geoffiney Plantagenet, Archbishop of York, possessed himself of the 
shrievalty of the county of York, on payment of a fine to the King, of 3000 

• Hoveden, 379. Dicets, 661. Brompton, 1172. 

•f Bidiard Malebisse paid ceo marks for his pardon, &c., on account of being concerned 
in the slan^ter of the Jews at York. Again, xx marks to have his land restored, which 
was seized on that occasion. Maddoz*8 Exehefuer, 800. 

The mark was an iadeierminate sum, which varied in different ages. Some have 
stated it at 6 oz., others at 8 oz. Maddox sajs a mark of gold was equal to six pounds, or 
six score shillings ; the mark of silver, 13s. id. 


marks.'i' Having by this means united the temporal and spiritual authori- 
ties, this prelate, who was the natural son of King Heniy 11., flourished 
with all the power and dignity of a sovereign Prince, 'in the north of 
England. The office of High Sheriff was, in these times, one of great 
trust and responsibility; as the keeper of the King*s peace, he was the 
first man in the county, and superior in rank to any nobleman. He was the 
King's farmer or bailiff; the collector of all the royal rents and revenues 
within his district ; to his custody were entrusted all the royal castles and 
manors lying within the bailiwick ; and he provided the castles and fortified 
towns with ammunition and other necessaries. He was dignified witib the 
title of Viscount, and all the freeholders of the county, whatever might be 
their rank, were obliged to give their personal attendance, to swell out the 
magnificence of his train. From this service, even the Hchest and most 
powerful barons were not exempt. Hence the retinue of a provincial shmff 
must have equalled that of a powerful monarch. 

The reign of King John began in turbulence, and ended in disgrace. Ac* 
cording to the custom of these times, when the monarch had no settled 
revenue, it was usual for him to renew the borough charters at his accesdon, 
for the purpose of recruiting his treasury ; and John followed this eauuuple. 
In the beginning of his reign, his Mcyesty, accompanied by the Queen and 
many of his principal Barons, made a progress into the north. The royal 
party crossed the Humber from Grimsby, and proceeded to Cottingham and 
Beverley, and thence to York, where a convention was held, which was at- 
tended by the King of Scotlfind and his nobles. It appears that, on this 
occasion, the citizens were not well affected towards John, for they refused 
to show him any marks of honourable greeting, or to display the usual tokens 
of joy and congratulation at the presence of their sovereign amongst them. 
The irritable monarch was so highly incensed at this instance of n^Iect, 
that he amerced the city in the sum of £100.f In the last year of this 
troublous reign (IdlO), the northern Barons laid siege to York, but granted 
a truce, and retired on receiving 1000 marks from the citizens. 

In 1330, Henry m. attended a convocation at York, in which Alex- 
ander, King of Scotland, swore to many the Lady Joanna, or Jane, Heniy*8 
eldest sister; and in the following year, the marriage was solemnized in 
the Cathedral church of this city, in the presence of the Bang, amidst very 
splendid festivities. This was the lady whom the Scots in derision called 
Joan Makepeace. " A name not in vain," says Buchanan, " for, from that 

• Lei. CoU. vol. iL p. 210. Stowe'a Chioo. p. 167. f Mag. Bot 8 Job. 


time, there was a strict alliance between the two E^ings.*' On the same 
occasion, was solemnized the marriage of Hubert de Burgh, the Justiciary, 
and Margaret, sister of King Alexander. In 1280, Henry and the King of 
Scotland, with the principal nobility, kept Christmas at York, in a most 
magnificent manner; and in 1287, Cardinal Otto, the Pope's L^ate, ne- 
gocaated a peace between the Kings of England and Scotland, who met at 
York for that purpose. 

In 1251, the marriage of Alexander 11. of Scotland, and Margaret, the 
beaatifiil daughter of Henry lU., was celebrated at York, with all the mag-. 
nificence and grandeor suitable to the qnptials of such exalted persons. All 
the peers of the realm accompanied Henry and his Queen ; and the Scottish 
King was attended by his mother, and a large retinue of his nobility. On 
Christmas Day, Henry conferred the honour of Knighthood on Alexander, 
and tweoij of his nobles; and on the following day the royal pair were 
married in the Cathedral, by the Archbishop, Walter de Grey. As we have 
just stated, an immense number of military commanders, and other persons 
of rank, attended Henry ; and Alexander was attended by more than sixty 
Knights, dad in a most superb manner. During the stay of these monarchs 
in York, the Archbishop several times entertained them with princely mag- 
nificence and grandeur ; expending during the visit of the royal party more 
than 4,000 marks, or nearly £2,700. For one feast alone he had sixty &t 
oxen roasted and cooked in various ways. 

In this chivalrous age mock contests formed the principal amusements of 
the nobility. On aU great occasions a tournament was formally proclaimed ; 
and here the aspiring warrior had an opportunity of recommending himself 
at once to the notice of his Sovereign, and the recommendation of his supe- 
riorB, which led the way to honourable distinction ; and of exciting at the 
same time the admiration and esteem of the softer sex, by the display of 
superior strength, activity, or military skilL On the present occasion, a 
grand tournament took place at York, in the presence of the two Kings, and 
aU the principal nobility of England and Scotland, In 1291, Edward I. 
visited York on his way to Scotland; when the famous Welshman, the repre- 
sentative of the ancient Princes of South Wales, Bees-ap-Meredith, was tried 
and condemned here for high treason, and drawn through the city to the 
gaUows, where he was hanged and quartered.* In 1206, the Scots having 
made an inroad into England, this valiant monarch marched against them 

• Slowe'a Annals. The word <' Ap" is a Welsh prefix, equivaldnt U>/' llto" in Scotland, 
and the ^'O" m Ireland. 


with a well appointed army, and joining in battle, he slew 28,000 of the 
enemy in the field, and put the rest to flight Berwick, Dunbar, and Edin- 
burgh, and other places, opened their gates to the conqueror; and John 
Baliol, the Scottish King, was forced to resign his kingdom by a charter, 
dated 10th of July, at Brechin. The sceptre, coronation stone,')' ^c, were 
sent to London. 

In 1298, the same monarch summoned a special Parliament to meet at 
York, when the English Barons attended in great numbers; those who diso- 
beyed the order to be present, being accounted rebels. At this assembly, the 
King's confirmation of Magna Chqrta (or the Great Charter), with the 
Charta de Forresta (Charter of the Forests), was read, and the Bishop of 
Carlisle pronounced a curse upon all who should attempt to violate them. 
The Scottish lords, who were summoned to attend this Parliament, not 
making their appearance, the English lords decreed, that an army should be 
sent, under the command of the Earl of Surrey, to relieve Roxborough, which 
the Scots were at that time besieging. At this Parliament, the Commons of 
of the Realm granted the King the ninth part of their goods ; the Archbishop 
of Canterbuiy, with the clergy of his province, the tenth penny ; and the 
Archbishop of York, with his clergy, a fifth. 

Edward afterwards summoned another Parliament to York, and renewed 
his former order for the attendance of the Scottish nobility; but they again 
refused compliance with the King's command, which induced him to issue a 
commission of array, ordering his subjects to meet him at Eoxborough on St. 
John's day. The famous battle of Falkirk then ensued, in which the cele- 

* This famous stone, on which the inaaguration of the Scottish Kings was perfonned, 
was removed from the monasterj of Scone, in Perthshire, and is now inserted in the 
seat of the Coronation chair of the Sovereigns of England. It is a flat stone, nearly 
square, and is said to be the identical stone which formed Jacob's pillow, when he had 
those celestial and mystical visions mentioned in holy writ. Tradition says it was 
brought out of Palestine into Ireland, and was there used as the inauguration stone of 
the Kings of that country ; that it was brought from Ireland by Fergus, the son of Erie, 
who led the Dabriods to the shores of Argyleshire ; and was deposited in the eiiy of 
Scone. An old antiquarian has described this stone, " the ancientest respected monu- 
ment in the world; for, although some others may be more ancient as to duration, yet 
thus superstiously regarded they ore not." The antiquity of this " Stone of Destiny " 
is undoubted, however it may be questioned whether it be the same stone on which 
the ancient Kings of Ireland were crowned on the hiU of Tara. The history of Us 
being used for the coronation of the Scottish Kings, and of its removal from Scone 
by Edward I., admits of no doubt. A record exists of the expenses attending its re- 
moval. The curious visitor to London, may inspect it, together with the andent chair 
made for its reception, in the reign of Edward I., in the chapel of St. Edward the Con- 
fessor, Westminster Abbey. 


I hnted chieftain, Sir William Wallace, was defeated; after which the King 
letiimed to Yorit, and in 1299, held another Parliament there. In 1304, 
Edward completed the reduction of Scotland, though not its suhjugation; 
sod after disbanding his armj, he ordered the Courts of Exchequer and 
King's Bench, which had continued during seven years at York, to resume 
their former station at Westminster.'ie 

Yoik then ranked amongst the English ports, and furnished one vessel to 
£dwaid's fleet; but Hull had already begun to rise its £Bune as a maritime 
town, and when vessels were built on a larger scale, it absorbed a great share 
of the commerce which was formerly confined to this city. 

Bdwazd, having conquered and united the principality of Wales to the 
crown of England, and having constrained the Scots to swear fealty to him, 
qpent the winter before his death at Carlisle, where he summoned his last 
Parliament The Scots, taking advantc^e of the King^s absence, and of his 
having dismissed his army, assembled their dispersed forces, attacked and 
obtained a signal victory over the English troops, and took prisoner the Earl 
of Pembroke, who commanded in Scotland. Exasperated at this unexpected 
revolution, Edward resolved to march into the heart of Scotland, and destroy 
the kingdom from sea to sea; and to that end he summoned all the vassals 
I of the crown to meet him at Carlisle, about the middle of summer, on pain of 

forfeiting their fees. But, whilst "man proposes, God disposes;" no sooner 
had Edward assembled the finest army England had ever seen, than he was 
seized with a distemper, which put an end to his days, and all his projects. 
On his death-bed he earnestly recommended Prince Edward, his eldest son and 
successor, to prosecute the war with Scotland with the utmost vigour. He 
also advised the Prince to carry along with him his remains at the head of the 
anny, not doubting but that the sight of his bones would daunt the courage 
of the enemies he had thrice conquered. After these last orders to his son, 
he caused himself to be carried by easy journeys to meet the enemy ; but he 
had not advanced above five miles, to a village in Cumberland, called Burgh- 
npon-Sands, when his sickness was increased by an attack of dysentery, which 
carried him o£P on the 7th of July, 1307, in the 68th year of his age, and 
85th of his rdgn. And thus ended the career of the warlike, politic, but 
unjust King Edward I., who has been deservedly called " the hammer of 
Scotland.** His body was conveyed to Westminster Abbey, and laid by the 
remains of Henry, his father; and the memory of his death is preserved on 

• lisgord's Hist England, vol. iiL, p. fUO. Fcp. 8vo. 


the spot where he died, bj a square pillar bearing an appropriate Latin 

One of the greatest e^ils of the feudal system was, that when a feeble 
monarch filled the throne, the kingdom was torn to pieces by domestic faction 
and civil war. The vast domains of some of the nobles, over which their 
authority was almost unlimited, gave them a power nearly equal to that of the 
King; and the reader of English history is well aware that these factious 
ohieftaans often raised the standard of rebellion, even against their monarchs. 
Edward 11. was one of the most weak and unfortunate of the English Kings ; 
and his idleness, incapacity, and passion, for favourites, proved lus ruin. 
His inordinate attachment to Piers de Gaveston, together with the haughty, 
arrogant, and insolent disposition of the favourite, led to a combination of the 
nobility against them. Gaveston, and some of his followers, had been 
bamshed from the kingdom by Edward L, but in the year 1812, Edward II., 
in an evil hour, invited him to meet him at York, and " received him as a gift 
from heaven.f ** 

On this occasion the King kept his Ohiistmas at York. The return of the 
&vourite excited the resentment of the Barons, and, as we have stated, a 
powerM conspiracy was formed against him. Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, ^ 
cousin-german to the King, first Prince of the blood, and one of the most 
opulent and poweriul subjects in the kingdom, was the chief of the party who 
had bound themselves, by an oath, to expel G^ve^n; and he suddenly 
raised an army, and marched to York, the walls of which city Edward had 
caused to be strongly fortified, and put in a posture of defence, in anticipation 
of this outbreak. 

The King, hearing of the approach of Lancaster, fled with his &vourite to 
Newcastle, whither the Earl followed in pursuit of them ; but before the 
arrival of the pursuers, Edward had just time to escape to Tynemouth, where 
he embarked, and sailed with Gaveston to Scarborough. The castie of the 
latter place being deemed impregnable, the King left his favourite in it (some 
say that he made him governor of that fortress), and returned to York, either 
to raise an army to oppose his enemies, or, by his presence, to allay their 
animosity. In the meantime the confederated nobles sent the Earl of 
of Pembroke, with a strong force, to besiege Scarborough, which, after a 
gallant defence, capitulated upon merciful terms (afterwards flagrantiy violated 

* The original monument was erected by Heniy, Dake of Norfolk, in 1685; but it 
having gone to decay, the present pillar was raised by the late Earl of Lonsdale, in 1803. 

f Stowe's Annals. 


by the victor) wMch extended even to Gaveston himself, who waa, however, 
taken pirisoner. Pembroke, now master of the person of this public enemj, 
conducted him to the castle of Deddington, near Banbury, where, on pretence 
of other business, he left him protected by a feeble guard. Warwick, pro- 
bably in concert with Pembroke, attacked the castle ; the garrison refused 
to make any resistance, and the unfortunate Oaveston was yielded up to 
him, and conducted to Warwick Castle. The Earls of Lancaster, HerelEbrd, 
and Arundel, immediately repaired thither, and without any regard, either to 
the laws or the military capitulation, they ordered the obnoxious &vouiite 
to be beheaded, and the execution took place on Blacklow Hill (now Gavers- 
ley Heath), on the dOth of June, ISld.* Such was the miserable end ot 
Edward's first ^Eivourite. 

After the disastrous battle of Bannockbum, in 1314, in which Edward 
lost about 50,000 men, he narrowly escaped to York, where he held a great 
coonciL At this time the prices of the following articles were fixed by the 
King's writs: — ^for a stall or com fed ox, not more than £1. 4s. ; lor a grass 
fed ox, not more than 16s. ; for a &t stalled cow, Ids. ; for a com fed mutton 
with wool grown. Is. 8d. ; a fat hog, two years dd, not to exceed Ss. 4d. ; a 
ht goose, ^d. ; a fat capon, dd. ; a &t ben, or two chickens, lid. ; and 94 
eggs, not more than Id. 

In the year 1315 there was a great fiunine and morftaliiy; the flesh of 
beasts was conmpted ; men were forced to feed on dogs and horses ; many, 
it is said, eat not only their own children, but stole others to devour them 
also ; whilst the old prisoners in some of the prisons fell upon those newly 
brought in amongst them, and greedily devoured them whilst half aHve. In 
the year following. Sir JosseHne Danville, and his brother Robert, who, with 
200 men in the habit of friars, attacked the episcopal palace at Durham, and 
conunitted many notable robberies, were executed at York. In the same 
year the King issued orders from Beverley, fer arming the whole population ot 
Yorkshire and Northumberland, between the ages of 16 and 60, both horse 
and &ot; with directions that they should be prepared to march with him 
against the Scots; and he appointed officers to see that his commands were 
carried into execution.f On the 15th of September he ordered the levy in 

• Hinderwell'8 Bist Scarboroagh, p. 51. 

f The regnlar and established modes of assembling annies in fonner times, when 
the eoDstitutional militaiy fbrce of EoLglaad consisted of feadal troops, and the posse 
oQOBitatQS, were as follows : — ^The tenant who held in capUe, that is one who held imme* 
diately from the King, the quantity of land amounting to a Knight's fee, was to hold him- 
self in readiness, with horse andannsi toaenpetbe Eingin war, either at home or abroad, 


the county of Yorit to be inspected. The northern parts of the kingdom 
were so exhausted that the King was compelled to recruit his forces from the 
southern and western parts ; and on the ISth of August, 1318, he issued 
orders from Nottingham, to every city and borough throughout England, to 
raise the number of men appointed in the respective summonses ; and to have 
them well armed and accoutred, to resist the threatened invasion of the 
Scots.'i^ The campaign not having commenced tiU the following spring, the 
King issued orders early in the year for arming the population of the whole 
kingdom, between the ages of 30 and 60. 

By the King's order, according to Stowe, the Clerks of the Exchequer set 
out for York, on the 15th of October, 1819, with the Domesday Book and 
other records, which, with provision, laded twenty-one carts. The Judges of 
the King's Bench came at the same time, and continued to transact the 
business of the court in the city of York for six months.f 

In 1318, the whole of the north of England, to the middle of Yorkshire, 
was ravaged with fire and sword, by an army of Scottish marauders, under 
the command of Bruce's fiEunous Generals, — ^Thomas Bandolph, Earl of 
Murray, and Sir James Douglas ; and having burned the towns of North- 
allerton, Boroughbridge, Knaresborough, Skipton, and Scarborough, and 

at hiB Dim expense, for a stated time ; generally 40 days in the year; and this sendee 
being aocomplished, the tenant could either return home, or if he or his followers alter- 
wards continued to serve with the army, they were paid by the King. The quantity of 
land, or sum of money, which constituted a Koight's fee, appears to haye yaried at 
different periods. In the reigns of Heniy U., and Edward II., a Knight's fee was stated 
at £20 per annum ; and the number of KnighVs fees in the kingdom was estimated at 
60,000. Qroie*$ MU, Aniiq^ voU i., p, 4. A tenant who had several Knight's fees, might 
discharge them by able substitutes. The posse comitatus included every free man 
between the ages of 15 and 60. The chief duty of this body being to preserve peace, 
under the command of the Sheriff, they differed from the feudal troops, inasmuch as 
they were not liable to be called out, except in ease of internal oommotion, or actual 
invasion: on such oocasions they could legally be marched out of their respective 
counties, but in no case could they be sent to do military duty out of the kingdom. 
Besides these means of raising armies, under the authority of the royal prerogatiye, on 
extraordinary occasions, districts, cities, burghs, and eyen particular persons, were 
obliged to find men, horses, and arms, at the will and pleasure of his sovereign. After 
the 16th of Edward m. (1843), new forms and modes of raising men were adopted. 
The monarchs contracted with their nobility and gentry to find them soldidrs, at certain 
wages, and their parliaments supplied them with the means. 

* The comparative proportion of men raised in different towns in the neighbourhood 
may be seen in the following Hst: — York, 100 foot; Beverley, 80; Scarborough, 30; 
Hull, 20; Grimsby, 20; Doncaster, 10; Stamford, 15; and Derby, 10. 

f Byley, p. 564. 


imposed a contributian of 1,000 marks upon the inhabitants of Ripon, they 
retomed to Scotland, laden with much plunder, and carrying with them a 
great number of prisoners. This calamity was followed next year by a 
famine and pestilent disease, which carried off great numbers of the inhabi- 
tants left in the plundered districts. In 13S0, the army raised by Edward 
being at length organised, that monarch marched into the north at the head 
of it, and laid siege to the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed ; but he had scarcely 
sat down before that place, when Randolph, the Scottish General, instead of 
attacking the King at Berwick, led his forces across the Solway, and laid the 
country waste with fire and sword, even to the gates of York ; and after 
burning the suburbs of the city, returned northwards with their booty. 
William de Melton, at that tune Archbishop, indignant at the insult thus 
offered to the city, took up arms, and hastily raised an army, composed of 
priests, canons, monks, husbandmen, artificers, and others, to the number 
of 10,000 men; and with this undisciplined band, he pursued the Scots, 
and imfortunately overtook them at Myton-upon-Swale, three miles east of 
Boroughbridge; where, with more zeal than skill, he attacked them on the 
12th of October (1320). 

"These able soldiers," says Holinshed, "had, as experienced commanders, 
the Archbishop, and Bishop of Ely, being the leaders of these warlike troops ; 
much fitter to pray for the success of a battle, than to fight it** Aware of 
the pursuit, the Scots laid an ambuscade, and waited for the Archbishop*s 
army, in the order of battle. According to the old chronicler, the scene of 
the battle was the " Myton meadow, near the Swale water." This would then 
be a large open field, now enclosed, and known by the name of "The Ings," 
and extends about a mile along the east bank of the Swale, before its junction 
with the Ure, and an equal distance down the north bank of the Ouse. 
Our idea of the battle," writes the editor of the Battle Fields of Yorkshirey 
is, that the English were advancing, over the open field, towards the Swale, 
enclosed on two sides by rivers, when the Scots, 'among the hay kookes 
bushed,* on the higher ground to the north, above, and about the village of 
Myton, setting fire to the hay, rushed suddenly, under cover of the smoke, 
upon their unprepared antagonists, cooped up in a bad situation, and routed 
them with little loss on their own side ; while that of the English amounted 
to between 8,000 and 4,000, of which 2,000 were drowned, most probably in 
the waters of the Ouse, opposite the village of Dunsforth, where the river is 
both wide and deep." It is however certain, that after a feeble resistance, 
the English were defeated^ with the loss just stated, including Nicholas 
Fleming, who was then for the seventh time Mayor of York. 



In this batde such a number of ecdedasticsi in fiiU canonicals, fell (SOOi 
according to Dr. Lingard), that it was, says Buchanan, for a long time called 
the White BatUe; and it is sportivelj recorded bj the Scottish writers, under 
the tide of the Chapter of Mytan (or Mitton, as thej erroneously call it). 
The Archbishop himself had a very narrow escape, and had business enough 
to fill up the vacancies in the church, on his return. The body of the Mayor 
of YorlE was honourably interred in the parish church of St. Wilfirid, at York, 
and the Archbishop granted an indulgence of forty days to all the citizen^ 
who, being truly penitent, should approach the sacraments, and say a Pater- 
noster and Aye-Maria for the repose of his soul. A chantiy was also founded 
for him in the same church. The Scots returned home without further 
molestation, but with a large increase of spoil ; and Edward, as soon as he 
heard of the event, raised the siege of Berwick, and hastily retired to York. 

The King had now another great &vourite, in the person of Hugh de 
Spencer, a man of considerable exterior accomplishments, but destitute of aH 
prudence and moderation. His rapacity led to a combination of the nobles 
against him, in Iddl, and Edward was compelled to bani^ both him and 
his father beyond the sea. In a short time, the King found himself in a 
situation to bid defiance to his enemies, and the Spencers were recalled. 
Again the factious, turbulent, but powerful Earl of Lancaster headed a con- 
federacy of the nobles, and raised an army to oppose the King ; but having 
entered into an alliance with Bruce, King of Scotland, nuiny of the English 
deserted him, and joined the standard of Edward. Lancaster, with the Earl 
of Hereford and a few other noblemen, having &iled in an attempt to secure 
a position at Burton-upon-Trent, hastily retreated northward, to join the 
succours which were expected from Scotland. On the 16th of March, 18dl, 
he arrived at Boroughbridge, where he fotmd Sir Andrew Haida, Governor 
of Carlisle, and Warden of the Western Marches, and Sir Simon Ward, 
Sheriff of Yorkshire, with a strong force, ready to bar his further progress. 
Harcla, who had received the honour of Knighthood at the hand of Lancaster, 
was now tempted to prove his gratitude to him, at the expense of his duty 
to his Sovereign. Lancaster promised to confer upon him one of the five 
Earldoms then in his possession, if he (Harcla) would help him with the forces 
under his command, to remove the Spencers; but the Warden of the Marches 
was incorruptible; and the Earl had nothing left but to turn back, and fight 
the King's army, which was in pursuit of him, or force the passage of the 
river before it came up; and he chose the latter of these alternatives. The 
river, which is here about sixty yards wide, was at that time traversed by a 
wooden bridge, the small town of Boroughbridge standing on the south side. 


The Eaii's an^rs first b^in the fight, but were repeUed by the moi-e potent 
disohaige of their adyersaries. The m6n-a^a^ns next attempted to force the 
passage of the river» and the Earl of Hereford was slain by the thrust of a 
lance below his armour, through a chink in the bridge, by a Welsh soldier, 
who had hid himself beneath. Sir William Sulley and Sir Roger Bemefield 
were slain, and Sir Roger Clifford was wounded on the head. During this 
attack, Lancaster had led a part of his army to a ford, a little lower down; 
but hare again he was repeiled by a shower of arrows from the opposite bank. 
Seeiiig all his attempts to pass the river by force baffled, his courage entirely 
Caokd him, and he retired into a chapel, where he was seized, stripped of his 
armour, and treated with great indignity. The rest of his party were dis- 
persed, and a great many of them taken. Lancaster was conveyed to York, 
wherehewasinsulted, pelted with dirt, and called in derision "King Arthur." 
fie was then imprisoned in the castle of Pontefinaet, in a dungeon, in a 
new tower, which he himself had recently made, and the only entrance to 
which was by a trap-door in the floor of the turret. Shortly afterwards the 
King being at Pontefiract, the Earl was arraigned, in the hall of the castle, 
befixre a small number of peers, among whom were the Spencers, his mortal 
enemfflit. As might have been expected, he was condemned, and sentenced 
to be hanged, drawn, and quartered; but through respect for his royal blood, 
the punishment was changed to decapitation ; and the sentence was immedi« 
afeely put into ezecation. The fiite of Lancaster involved that of many others. 
Never since the Conquest had such havoc been made among the ancient 
nobility; never since then had the scaffold been drenched with so much 
noble blood as on this occasion. No less than ninety-five Barons and Knights 
were taken prisoners, and afterwards tried for high treason. The Lords 
Warren de Lisle, William Touchet, Thomas Mandute, Fitz William the 
yonnger, William Cheney, and Henry de Bradbum, were executed at Ponte- 
fraet; and the Lords Clifford, Mowbray, and Deynville, were executed at 
York, and their bodies hung in chains. 

The wooden bridge, upon which the fate of the Lancaster &ction was de- 
cided, has since been succeeded by a handsome one of stone. The ground 
oeeapied by the forces of Harcla and Ward, is now covered with houses, 
timber, and coal yards ; and partly by a short canal, belonging to the river 
Ure navigation. At a place called 2^ Old Banks, below ^e bridge, many 
fingments of arms and armour were found in 1793, when the embankments 
of the river were formed. These were probably relics of this battle. 

In 1899, the King, after having conciliated the Barons, held another Par- 
bament in York, in winch the. decree, made in the preceding year in London, 


for alienating their estates, was reversed, and the elder Spencer created Earl 
of Winchester. At this Parliament the several ordinances of the Barons, 
made at different times, were examined, and such of them as were confirmed, 
were, h j the King's order, directed to be called statutes ; the clergy of the 
province of Yoik granted the King a subsidy of fourpence in each mark; 
Robert Baldock was made Lord Chancellor; and Edward, the King's eldest 
son, was created Prince of Wales, and Duke of Aquitain. After the dissolu- 
tion of this Parliament, Edward raised an immense army to oppose Robert 
Bruce, who was then desolating the English border ; and in the month of 
August, in the same year, at the head of this army, he marched into Scot- 
land ; and though the enemy had destroyed all the forage, he penetrated as 
far as Edinburgh, into this region of total &mine. Being obliged to retire 
for want of provisions, this mighty host retreated to England, and so ravenous 
were the soldiers, after their late abstinence, that no less than 16,000 of them 
died of repletion. Bruce, aware of the retreat of the English, closely fdlowed 
them, and then he became the aggressor. In oider to end the war, he con- 
ceived the bold design of capturing the person of the King ; and with that 
intention, he came up with the English army, encamped upon an advanta- 
geous piece of ground, near Byland Abbey, about fourteen miles from York, 
which Edward had made his head quarters, while he refreshed and recruited 
iiis men. The English were posted on the Abbey bank — a high ridge of 
land, extending from Cambe Hill, by Oldstead, to the village of Wass— a 
most favourable position. Bruce, who well knew how to encounter great 
obstacles in the field, sent his two associates in arms, Randolph and Douglas, 
to storm the narrow pass, which led to the top of the hill ; whilst he turned 
the English position, by sending a body of BQghlanders to scale the steep 
cliff, and thus surprised the enemy, by attacking them at once in Hank 
and rear. 

After a short fight the English were routed, and fled, leaving their strong 
position, and much spoil in the hands of the victors. Edward, who was at 
dinner in the Abbey when the battle began, made his escape to York with 
difficulty, but he was indebted for his safety to the swiftness of his horse. 
He left his privy seal, plate, money, and other treasures, behind him. The 
fugitives were chased towards York by Walter Stewart, before which city, it 
is said, he halted until the evening, with only 500 men-at-arms, to see if the 
enemy would come out to the encounter. There is no record of the number 
slain in this fight, but several of the nobility were taken prisoners, among 
whom were John de Bretagne and Henry de Sully. The Scottish army re- 
turned unmolested, and laden with spoil Byland Abbey, so cloae to the 


scene of conflict» was no doubt plimdered of all that was worth carrying 
away ; but it was not destroyed, nor its inmates slaughtered, as were those 
of Dryburgh and Mekose by the English in their late incursion. 

According to the expression of the old chronicle, the battle of Byland 
Abbey took place ''fifteen days after Michaelmas, 1323." Sir Andrew 
Havcla, now Earl of Carlisle, was accused of having entered into a traitorous 
oorrespondence with the Scottish King, and of supineness and wilful inaction, 
in not intecTupting the march of the Scots, and thus preventing them pursuing 
the retreat of Edward ; and with all the savage barbarity of the times, he 
was tried, condemned, and executed. But even the guilt of that unfortunate 
nobleman (and that is doubtful) could not shift the blame of the shameful 
defeat and infamous flight of the English, their army being much more 
numerous than that of the Scots. After this batde a truce was agreed upon 
between the two nations, to continue lor the space of thirteen years. 

Edward was shortly after deposed and imprisoned by the direction of Mor- 
timer, the paramour of his Queen, Isabella ; and he was finally murdered 
with unparalleled cruelty. His son, then but fourteen years old, was crowned 
in 13d7, under the title of Edward HI. ; and his reign, which lasted for 
£^ years and a few months, shines with much lustre in the annals of 
.England, and constitutes a splendid period in the history of York. In the 
first year of his reign, the youthful King ordered his whole army to rendez- 
vous ia York, in order to oppose the Scots, who, with two powerful armies, 
including 30,000 light cavalry, under the conduct of the distinguished Gene- 
rals, Randolph and Douglas, were ravaging the northern part of the kingdom. 
'While the King lay at York, preparing for the expedition, he was joined by 
John, Lord Beaiunont, of Hainault, and several other knights and gentlemen, 
who, with his retinue, composed a band of 500, or, according to Enightson, 
of 3000 men. Most of these foreigners were lodged in the suburbs, but to 
Zx>rd John himself, the King assigned the monastery of White Monks in the 
dty. The King, with the Queen-mother, made their abode at the monastery 
ot the Friars Minors. For six weeks Edward held his court at York, whilst 
an anny of 60,000 men was being raised. On Trinity Sunday the King gave 
a splendid entertainment at the monasteiy. To his usual retinue of 500 
Knights, he added 60 more; and the Queen-mother had in her suite 60 
ladies of the highest rank and greatest beauty in England. 

During the festivitiea a contest arose between the Hainaulters and a body 
of Lincolnshire archers, who lodged with thooi in the suburbs; and hostilities 
once begun, abettors successively came in on both sides, till nearly 8000 of the 
archers were collected. Many of the foreigners were slain, and the rest were 


obliged to retire. During the fray part of the city took fire, and it was with 
difficulty that the flames were subdued. On the fidlowing night the foreignero, 
determined on revenge, headed by their officers, fell upon the Linoolnfihire 
and Northamptonshire archers, and slew about 800 of them. This rash act 
induced the English to combine, to the number of 6000, in the homble reso- 
lution of sacrificing the whole of the Hainaulters ; but this catastrophe was 
arrested, and the tranquillity of the city restored by the firmness and wise 
precautions of the Eiog.* The Scots being informed of the warlike prepa- 
rations of Edward, sent ambassadors to York to negodate a treaty of peace ; 
upon the failure of which, Edward advanced against them with his anny, in 
all the martial pomp of those chivalrous times. After a dose pursuit the 
enemy was at last overtaken and surrounded at Stanhope Park, and would 
have surrendered but for the treachery of Lord Mortimer, who opened a road 
for their escape. The Scots then withdrew their forces, but Douglas as- 
saulted the English camp at night, and nearly succeeded in killing the King. 
On the failure of this attempt the Scots, after doing what mischief they 
could, retreated within their own territories. Edward, excessively chagrined 
at the escape of an enemy whom he had so thoroughly in his power, returned 
to York, and afterwards to London. Lord John Beaumont, upon receiving 
£14,000. — ^the sum for which he and his foreign soldiers had been engaged, 
returned to the continent ; and shortly afterwards a marriage was n^gociated 
between his niece, Philippa, the most celebrated beauty of the age, and the 
young King of England. This marriage was solemnized in the Cathedral 
of York, by the Archbishop of that province, and the Bishop of Ely, on the 
d4th of Januaiy, 1828, it being the Sunday before the eve of the festival of 
the Conversion of St. Paul. 

The court was then at York, and for three weeks the feastings, jousts, 
tournaments, maskings, revds, interludes, &c., were continued without inter- 
mission. " Upon these happy nuptials," says Froissart, " the whole kingdom 
teemed with joy.** But jealousies again arose between the Hainault soldieiy, 
which formed part of the retinue of Beaumont, and the English; and the 
former took advantage of this carnival to treat the latter with outrage and 
violence. The foreigners not only set fire to the suburbs of the dty, by 
which a whole parish was nearly destroyed, but they vidently assaulted 
several of the wives, daughters, and maid servants of the inhabitants. The 
dtizens, enraged by these proceedings, armed themsdves, and challenged 
the Hainaulters to battle. In this desperate contest, which took plaoe in the 

• Ldand'8 Ck>lL voL L, p. 307. ^Tmsr, toL iv., p. 39d. 


Btieei, called Watlingate (now Lawrence Street), no less than 697 of the 
fine^eiB, and 94d Englishmen, were slain, or drowned in the Ouse. 

In 188d, Edward summoned another Parliament to this city ; and two 
years afterwards^ the King, on his march to Scotland, stayed, and kept his 
Christmas here. On his return from that country, he held another Parlia- 
ment in this city, to which Baliol, whose cause he had emhraced, in 
opposition to David Bruce, was summoned to attend him ; hut Baliol, not 
daring to trust himself, for fear of heing seized hy his Barons on his journey, 
sent the Lords Beaumont and Montecute to excuse him, and afterwards met 
the King at Newcastle. In 1885, Edward took up his residence at the 
monasteiy of the Holy Trinity, in this city, and held a council, in which the 
Bishop of Duiham, then Chancellor, resigned the great seal into his hands, 
and he immediately gave it up to the Archhishop of Canterbury, who took 
the usual oa^ of office in the presence of the council, and on the same day 
proceeded to the " church of the Blessed Mary,'* where he affixed it to several 
deeds. It appears in Cotton's Collections, that in this, and in the preceding 
reign, there were no less than twelve Parliaments assembled in York. During 
the wars in France, in which Edward and his renowned son, the Black 
Prinoe (so called from the colour of his armour), gained the memorable 
victories of Crecy and Poictiers, the Scots formed a resolution, suggested, 
most probably, by the French monarch, to invade and ravage the northern 
eoonties of England during Edward's absence. Accordingly, in 1846, David 
Brace, with an army of 86,000 men, well armed and trained, entered by the 
eastern marches, and destroyed the country vnth fire and sword as far as 
York; and actually set fire to the suburbs, and then retired to a short 
distance from that city. Philippa, the heroic consort of King Edward, who 
then kept her court at York, issued peremptory orders to arm the population, 
vrfaether laity or clergy; which was soon accomplished under the active 
saperintendenee of Archbishop William de la Zouch, Lord Percy, and others. 
A gallant army vms soon assembled before the gates of York, and the Queen 
headed it in person. The second division was commanded by the Archbishop, 
in which were found all the clergy of the diocese, who were able to bear 
anns. The two armies met at a place called Nevil's Cross, in the county 
of Duiham, on the 17th of October, in the same year ; and though the Scots 
were unprepared for immediate action, yet they thought it an easy matter to 
conquer an army oi clerks and citizens, commanded by a woman and a priest. 
Bat tfaej were miserably deceived. The English, fighting for their altars 
and their homes, entered the battle with a fuU resolution not to survive the 
loss of their freedom. The carnage of that day was dreadful. The English 


gained a signal victoiy ; David Bruce was taken prisoner ; about 100 of the 
choicest Knights in Scotland lost their lives ; and 20,000 men perished in 
the contest'!' The English lost 4,000 private men, and five Esquires. After 
the battle, the victorious Queen returned to York in triumph ; and having 
seen the citj strongly fortified, and then leaving the Lords Percy and Neville 
to the government of the north, she returned to London, carrying her royal 
prisoner in her train. William de Hatfield, the second son of Edward and 
FhiLippa, died in his infancy in York, and was buried in the Cathedral. 

This reign was unhappily distinguished by a pestilence, called the *' black 
death," which was uncommonly fatal and extensive. It broke out in ld49,t 
and raged at York for nine weeks, and considerably diminished the popula- 
tion. It took a wider range, and proved more destructive than any calamily 
of that nature known in the axmals of maokind. Its effects continued, in 
some degree, even to the time that Walsingham wrote, which was about 
seventy years afterwards. In the last year of this long and eventful reign, 
the Parliament granted the King a capitation tax of 4d. fix>m every lay 
person of either sex, in the kingdom, above fourteen years of age; and 12d. 
from each beneficed clergyman. The only persons exempted from it» were 
the four mendicant orders of religious, and real known b^^ars. From the 
accounts of the produce of this tax, the entire population has been estimated. 
The city of London was rated at 35,000 souls; Yorky at 11,000; Bristol, 
9,000; Coventry and Plymouth, each 7,000; Norwich, 6,000; Lincohi, 
5,000; Lynn, 5,000; Colchester, 4,600; Beverley, Oxford, and Newcastie- 
upon-Tyne, each 4,000 ; Ely, Canterbury, and Bury, in Suffolk, each 3,500 ; 
Gloucester, Leicester, and Shrewsbury, each 3,000 ; and Kitiffston-vponrHuU, 
fiflOO.l Thus England had but two towns containing a population of more 
than 10,000 souls; six only with a population exceeding 5,000; and but 
eighteen above 3,000. 

Richard IE., grandson to Henry m., was but eleven years old when he 
came to the throne. The late King had left the kingdom involved in many 
dangerous and expensive wars, which demanded large and constant supplies. 
The capitation, or poll tax, levied at the close of the last reign, led the way 
to others in rapid succession. The ultimate consequence was an insurrection 
of the lower classes of the people ; occasioned, perhaps, not so much from the 
nature of the tax itself, as from the brutal insults attending its colleotion. It 
began in Essex, and the rebels were headed by a profligate priest, who had 

• Knighton's Coll. 2590. f Walsingham, p. 118. 
X M.S. penes me, calculated f^oza ti^^ Subsidy Boll of 51st £dwiid lU. 


assumed the name of Jack Straw. The men of Kent, who were not long 
behind their neighbours in Essex, placed themselves under the leadership of 
a blacksmith, named Wat Tyler, or, according to some, a Kentish tyler, 
named Walter. The number of the rebels soon amounted to 100,000 men, 
and the discontent became general in the southern and midland counties. 
The flame of rebellion soon spread from the southern coast of Kent, to the 
right bank of the Humber ; on the southern coast it reached as far as Win- 
chester; and on the eastern, to Beverley and Scarborough. 

Tyler, at the head of a Isurge body of men, marched into London, and at 
Smithfield he was met by the King, who invited him to a conference, under 
a prrtence of hearing and redressing his grievances. Tyler, ordering his 
companions to retire, presented himself before the King, and accordingly 
began the conference. Whilst stating his complaints, and making his 
demands, he now and then lifted up his sword in a menacing manner ; and 
at length he laid his hand on the bridle of his Sovereign, which insolence so 
raised the indignation of William Walworth, Mayor of London, who was 
attending on the King, that he stunned Tyler with a blow of the mace, and 
Robert Standish, one of the King's Esquires, riding up, dispatched him witli 
his sword. The rebels seeing their leader fall, bent their bows to tako 
revenge, when Kichard, though not yet quite sixteen years of age, appealing 
to them, told them that he would be their leader, and that they should have 
whatever they desired. The mob followed the King into the fields at Isling- 
ton, and there he granted to them a charter, which he soon after revoked in 

The Scots having entered Northumberland, and taken three castles in 
the Marches, Richard, in 1885, set out from the south to oppose them, at 
the head of 80,000 men. The progress of the King was arrested at York, by 
an unfortonate circumstance, which cast a gloom over the seqmel of the expe- 
dition. In the neighbourhood of the city (near Bishopthorpe), Lord Ralph 
Stafford, eldest son of the Earl of Stafford, one of the royal favourites, was 
basely assassinated by the hand of Sir John Holland. The father and 
relatiTes of the slain loudly demanded justice ; and Richard confiscated the 
property of the assassin, and threatened him with the gallows, if he ever left 
the Sanctuary of St John of Beverley, where he had taken refuge. 

In 1889, King Richard visited York, for the purpose of adjusting a disa- 
greemodt between the ecclesiastical and civil authorities ; and during this 
visit he took his sword from his side, and gave it to be borne before William 
de Selby, the mayor, and his successors, whom he dignified with the title of 
Lord Mayor, which honour has ever since been retained, and is possessed by 



no other city except those of London and Dablin. Richard afterwards visited 
York seyeral times, and granted the citizens some valoable charters, immu- 
nities, and privileges. 

In the year 1390 — 1, a contagious disease, of the nature of a plague, raged 
with great violence throughout England ; of which malady thiere fell a sacrifice 
to it, in the city of York alone, about 12,000 souls. In 1393, Richard, being 
displeased with the citizens of London, the courts of Kings's Bench and 
Chancery were again removed to York, but they remained here only from 
Midsummer to Christmas. Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of the diocese, was 
then Lord Chancellor. In the same year the King presented the first mace 
to the city, to be carried before the Lord Mayor, and a cap of maintenance 
to the sword bearer ;* and in 1896, the same monarch erected the city of 
York into a distinct county of itself, and appointed two SherifiBs, in lieu of 
the three Bailiffs that previously formed a part of the corporation. In this 
reign, Edmund Plantagenet, surnamed De Langley, the fifth son of Edward 
m. and Queen Fhilippa, was created the first Duke of York. 

In the year 1393, a quarrel arose between Henry Bohngbroke, Eail of 
Hereford (afterwards Duke of Lancaster, and King Henry IV.), and Thomas 
Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, who had accused each other of treason. Richard, 
by the advice of his council, sent these two noblemen into exile, the first 
for six years, and the other for life. This arbitrary procedure rendered the 
Eong odious to his subjects in general, and especially to the discontented 
Barons. In 1399, Bolingbroke, then Duke of Lancaster, finding that the 
rebellious nobles were ready to dispossess Richard of the crown, sailed from 
France with only three ships, attended by about sixty gentlemen and their 
servants, and landed at Ravenspur, or Ravenspume, in Holdemess, on the 
4th of July, where he was joined by Lords Willoughby, Ross, Darcy, and 
Beaumont, with a great number of the gentry and commonalty. At Doncaster, 
the Duke was joined by the Earls of Northumberland and Westmorland, 
two of the most powerful Banms in England, and a great number of people 
from all parts of the countiy. The King himself during these commotions 
was in Ireland, and soon after he landed in England, his army deserted him, 
and he himself was betrayed, apprehended, and sent to the tower, and Boling- 
broke proclaimed King. Richard was soon after deposed by the two Houses of 

• The C€^ of MaifiUfumee, which is stiSl worn by the sword bearer on all atate oooa- 
dons in the dtj of York, is traditionally the identical hat of King Bichard IL, who, 
upon some festive occasion, placed it upon the head of the nearest person, who happened 
to be the Lord Mayor's Esquire. It was originally crimson yelvet, edged with gold ; bat 
it is now very mndi fiuied, and has only been held together by repeated re-linings. 



Parlkment, and sent to Pontefract Castle, where he died or was murdered. 
Some historians assert that he was there inhumanly starved to death; whilst 
others inform us that Sir Piers Exton, with eight ruffians, entered his 
chamber, disarmed and attempted to lay hold of him, but that he, perceiving 
their deadly erradd, so furiously attacked them, that he slew four of them 
ivith a weapon which he had seized from the first who entered ; and that 
whilst combating with the rest of the murderers, Sir Piers mounted a chair 
bdiind him, and cut him down with a pole-axe> Scrope, Archbishop of York 
at that time, mentions his death by htmger, but adds ut vulgwriter dieUur. 
When preparing for his expedition to Ireland, Richard made his will, in 
which he was very particular in ordering the ceremonials of his funeral, and 
for which purpose he allotted JB4,0O0.f Within ten months the unhappy 
monarch was deposed, murdered, and buried without pomp. Such is the 
mutability of human greatness. 

Soon after Henry Bolingbroke ascended the throne of England, under the 
tide of Henry IV., Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, who had lost a 
brother and son in the battle of Shrewsbury ; Richard Scrope, Archbishop 
of Toik, whose brother Henry, the King had beheaded ; and Thomas, Lord 
Mowbray, Earl Marshal of England, whose father died in exile, imited with 
Lfords Falconberge, Bardolf, Hastings, and others, in a conspiracy to depose 
him. Through the impatience of the Archbishop the plot was disclosed. 
Scrope framed several impeachments against the King, which he caused to 
be fixed against the doors of the churches of his own diocese, and sent them 
in the form of a circular into other counties, inviting the people to take up 
arms to reform abuses. Henry was charged by the conspirators with perjury, 
rd>eilion, usurpation, the murder of his sovereign (Richard IE.), irreUgion, 
extortion, and the illegal execution of many clergymen and gentlemen.^ 
The Archbishop preached a sermon to three congregations in his own Cathe- 
dral, and raised 30,000 men suddenly to arms, who joined his standard (on 
which was painted the five wounds of our Saviour) at Shipton-on-the-moor, 
a few miles from York. To put down this rebellion, the King sent an army 
of 80,000 men into Yorkshire, imder the command of the Earl of Westmor- 
land and the Prince John. The Archbishop's forces were advantageously 
encamped on the forest of Qaltres, without the gates of the city, when the 
King's army arrived at York. Westmorland being weaker than the insurgents, 
did not consider it prudent to attack them ; and having a£fected to fieivour 

• Booihroyd's Hist Pontefract, p. 114. f Bymer's Fcodera, torn, viii, p. 75. 

X Ang. Sax., 862. 


their Tiews, he, by means of flattery and intrigue, obtained an interview 
with the Prelate. The meeting took place in sight of both armies, the 
Archbishop being attended by the Earl Marshal, and the Generals shook 
hands, and reciprocated other tokens of reconciliation and friendship. The 
Archbishop declared that he had come not to make war bat peace, and 
particularized the different grievances which he thought it necessary to 
redress for the prosperity of the kingdom. The wily Earl, by some specious 
pretences and promises, induced the Archbishop to dismiss his forces to their 
respective homes, which was no sooner done, then the Prelate and the Earl 
Marshal were arrested for high treason, and their lives paid the forfeit of 
their precipitancy and misplaced confldence. They were carried prisoners to 
Pontefiract, where the King was, who ordered them to follow the court to the 
primatical Palace of Bishopthorpe. There the King commanded Chief 
Justice Gascoigne to pronounce on them sentence of death ; but that upright 
and inflexible Judge refused, on the plea that the laws gave him no jurisdic- 
tion over the life of a Prelate, and that both he and the Earl had a right to 
be tried by their Peers.* The King, however, found a more obsequious 
agent in a Knight named Fulthorpe, who, at the King's command^ vrithout 
indictment or trial, condemned them, with Sir John Lamplugh, Sir Robert 
Plumpton, and several others, to be beheaded. Scrope immediately ex- 
claimed, *< The just and true God knows that I never intended evil against 
the power of King Henry ; and I beg you to pray that my death may not be 
revenged upon him or his friends." On the 8th of June, 1405, the Arch- 
bishop suffered with great firmness in a field between York and Bishop- 
thorpe ; his body was interred in the Cathedral, and his head was fixed on 
a pole and placed on the city walls, where it long remained a spectacle for 
vulgar eyes, and a standing jest for the enemies of religion.f Being 
regarded in the light of a martyr, his tomb was visited by so many devotees 
as to attract the attention and interference of the King. The Earl Marshal's 
body was buried also in the Cathedral, and his head was fixed on a spike, 

• It la related of this upright Judge, that on another occasion, one of the associates of 
the King's eldest son (Henry, the eccentric " Prince Hal" of Shakespeare's " King Henry 
the Fourth"), had been arraigned before him for felony. The Prince imperiously re- 
quired the release of the prisoner, and when that was refused, drew his sword on the 
Judge. Bat Qascoigne cooUy ordered him into confinement in the prison of the King's 
Bench ; and the young Henry had the good sense to submit to the punishment. When 
the incident was related to his father, he is said to have exclaimed, *' Happy the 
monarch who possesses a Judge so resolute in the discharge of his duty, and a son so 
willing to yield to the authority of the law." 

f Walsingham. 


and exhibited on the walls of the city, Henry then issued orders from 
Pontefinict for the seizure of all the liberties and priyileges of the city of 
York ; many of the adherents of the Archbishop were tried and executed, 
bnt a general pardon, dated at Ripon, was soon after published, and York 
was reinstated in the enjoyment of its former privileges. Thus did the 
citizens testify their affection and gratitude for their royal benefactor, 
Richard II., eren after his death. In the second year of this reign (1401) 
Henry visited York, on his return from Scotland, and in that city witnessed 
a tournament between two English and two foreign Knights ; the foreigners 
proved the victors, and the King was so pleased with the combat, that he 
gave Sir John Cornwall, one of the combatants, his sister in marriage. 

In 1408, the Earl of Northumberland and Lord Bardolph, who, after the 
defeat of the insurrection in 1406, had retired into Scotland, raised a powerful 
force, and again appeared in arms agcdnst the King. Sir Thomas Eokeby, 
Sheriff of Yorkshire, assembled the posse camitatus to oppose the Earl, who 
was desolating the country as he passed along. The Sheriff took his post at 
Grimbald Bridge, near Enaresborough, but the Earl seeing the advantage of 
his position, made no attempt to force the passage, but turned aside, and 
directed his course towards Wetherby, closely pursued by the Sheriff. From 
Wetherby the rebeb turned to Tadcaster, and finally both parties drew up 
their forces for battle, on Bramham Moor, near Haslewood. The Sheriff 
fought under the standard of St. George, and the Earl under the standard of 
bis own arms. The fight was contested with great fury for the time it con- 
tinued, and " victoiy fell to the Sheriff." Northumberland was slain on the 
field, and Bardolph was taken prisoner, but so severely wounded that he died 
shortly afterwards. The King soon after went to York, and finding several 
of the EarVs adherents in the city, he completed his revenge by the execution 
of many of them, and the confiscation of their estates.'!' The brave Rokeby 
was then granted the manor of Spofforth (formerly belonging to the Earl), 
with all its appurtenances, during his life. 

The people of England generally were as yet only half civilized, and could 
bear unmoved the recurrence of sights, as well as commit actions, which 
ought to be esteemed most shocking to humanity. Who could bear, in our 
more refined times, to behold the mangled limbs of a dismembered human 
being publicly exposed to the gaze and insult of the multitude. Yet in the 
14th and 1 5th centuries, such scenes were of common occurrence. The 
body of the unfortunate Earl of Northumberland, after being slain in this 

♦ Bymer, vol. riii., pp. 620, 630. 


batde, was quartered, and one part placed on a gate in London, another at 
Lincoln, a third at Berwick-upon-Tweed, and the fourth at NewcaBtle-upon- 
Tjne. The head, " full of eilver hoaiy hairs," was also sent to London, and 
placed upon the bridge at the summit of a pole. We have just seen the head 
of an Archbishop treated with a similar indignity at York. But a still more 
horrible display took place during the same reign. The Earl of Huntingdon, 
Sir Thomas Blount, and Sir Benedict Seley, were executed for treason, and 
their quarters were carried to London, to 4>e publicly exhibited. The pro- 
cession throc^h the city was headed by the Earl of Rutland carrying on a 
pole the head of Lord Spencer, his brother-in-law, which he presented in 
triumph to Henry, as a testimony of his loyalty.'*^ The people that were 
capable of enduring such scenes as these with satisfaction and delight, could 
have made but small progress towards civilization. Barbarism too might be 
ashamed of the extremes to which the indulgence of private hatred and re- 
venge was carried. To pounce on an enemy in the dark, and to cut out his 
tongue, or deprive him of sight, was of such common occurrence, that an Act 
of Parliament was passed for its suppression. Heniy IV., whose usurpation 
was the source of innumerable woes to England; and who preserved his 
crown by shedding torrents of noble blood, died on the 19th of March, 1418, 
in the 46th year of his age, after a reign of 18 years. This monarch used 
to say that so long as Englishmen have wealth, they are obedient ; but when 
poor, they were liable to rebellion. 

Henry V., the hero of Agincourt, being engaged during the chief part of 
his reign in his wars with France, made only one visit to York, during 
a progress to the north, in 1431. The Queen accompanied the Kmg, and 
after a short stay at York, the royal pair proceeded to visit, and perform 
their devotions at the venerable shrine of St John of Beverley, which had 
been reported to have exuded blood all the day on which the battle of Agin- 
court was fought, in 1415. During the stay of the King and Queen at York, 
news arrived of the death of the Eing*8 brother, the Duke of Clarence, who 
was slain in France.f 

In the course of this reign, commands from the King were received by the 
Lord Mayor, to seize and confiscate the estates and effects of divers persons, 
who had been tried and executed for high treason; amongst whom was 
Henry, Lord Scrope, of Masham, beheaded .at Southampton in 1418. His 
head was ordered to be placed on the top of Micklegate Bar, York. The Earl 
of Cambridge, who had married the heiress of the house of York, and Sir 

• Home's England, vol. iii., p. 04. t Walaingham. 



Thomas Gray, were executed with Lord Scrope. The latter was Lord 
Treasurer of England, and had married Joan, Duchess Dowager of York. 
The execution of these noblemen, we are told by Rapin, " was the first spark 
of that fire which almost consumed, in process of time, the two houses of 
Lancaster and York." Heniy died in France on the last day in August, 
142d, and was buried near the shrine of Edward the Confessor, ia West- 
minster Abbey. 

During the sanguinary dispute-between these two houses, commonly desig* 
sated the Wars of the Roses,* this city was occasionally connected with the 
contending parties, and though not actually the seat of war, several of the 
battles took place in the neighbourhood. All the foreign invasions this king- 
dom had suffered, were never so destructive as this most unnatural intestine 
war, between two fierce £Eu;tions, filled with such implacable hatred towards 
each other, that nothing but the utter extirpation of one of the parties could 
satiate this extraordinary thirst of power. During the space of thirty years, 
irhich this cruel conflict lasted, twelve regular battles were fought within this 
kingdom by Englishmen only ; above eighty royal Princes fell by each other's 
swords ;f and the ancient nobility and gentry of the kingdom was almost 
annihilated. No less than 100,000 of the commons sacrificed their lives in 
these imnatural struggles. 

Henry YI., a man better fitted for a monastic life than a regal one, was by 
no means competent to guide the hehn of government at the turbulent period 
in which he reigned. The liouse of York seized this opportunity to assert its 
title to the throne, and after wading through an ocean of blood, at length 
obtained it^ The incapacity of the King incited Richard Flantagenet, Duke 
cf York, to urge his claim to the crown of England, in right of his mother, 
through whom he descended from Philippa, only daughter of Lionel, Duke of 
Clarence, second son of Edward m. ; whereas Henry YI. descended from 
John of Ghent, or Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, third son of the same monarch. 
The Duke's illustrious descent, immense possessions, and superior attain- 
ments, gave him influence with the nobility, and procured him formidable 
connections ; added to which, he stood plainly in succession before Henry. 

• So called firom the different symbols of party which the people took. Lord Camp. 
beU, in his Lives of the Lord ChaneeUors, voL i., p. 352, says, " The claims of the rival 
houses being debated in the Temple Gardens, London, the red and white roses there 
plucked became the opposing emblems." The partisans of the house of York chose 
the White rose as their mark of distinction ; and those of the house of Lancaster the 
Bed rose. 

f Daniel Kennet's Hist of England. 


In preseating his claim to the crown, he levied war against the King, and 
without material loss, slew about 5,000 of the royal forces at St. Albans, on 
the 22nd of May, 1454 ; amongst whom were the Duke of Somerset, the 
Earl of Northumberland, the Earl of Stafford, eldest son of the Duke of 
Buckingham, Lord Clifford, and many other persons of distinction. Alter 
this battle, the Duke*s irresolution, and the heroism of Margaret of A^jou, 
Queen of Henry VI., caused a suspension of hostilities. The leaders on both 
sides assented to meet in London, and be roconciled. The Duke of York led 
the Queen in solemn procession to St. Faults, and the chiefs of one party 
marched hand' in hand with the chiefs of the other. It was a public dem(m* 
stration of peace, with secret mutual distrust ; and an accident aroused the 
slumbering strife. One of the King's retinue having insulted a retainer of 
the Efiui of Warwick's, a partisan of the house of York, their companions 
fought, and both parties in every county in the kingdom flew to arms. The 
battle of Bloreheath, in Staffordshire, on the 2drd of September, 1459, was 
won by the Lancastrians, the Duke of York being in Ireland, and the Eaiis 
of Warwick, Marche (afterwards King Edward IV.), and Salisbury, with 
many other noble adherents to the house of York, escaped to Oalais.>i' Par- 
liament soon after declared the Duke of York, and all his partisans, guilty of 
high treason, their estates confiscated, and they and their posterity incapable 
of inheriting to the fourth generation. The Lancastrian party being now 
triumphant, determined to extirpate the Yorkists ; and with this view, the 
Earl of Wiltshire and Lord Scales were empowered to search out and punish 
those who had borne arms for the Duke of York. But these severities had a 
different effect from what was expected ; the discontents of the nation in- 
creased ; the fugitive Lords returned from Calais, and erected the standard 
of rebellion; and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishops of London, 
Lincoln, Ely, and Exeter, and a large number of the Barons, declared in 
their fi&vour. 

In the meanwhile, the King and Queen assembled their forces at Coventry. 
The Earls of Marche and Warwick, with a numerous army, hastened from 
London into the midland counties. The King's forces, commanded by the 
Dukes of Somerset and Buckingham, advanced to meet them, and on the 
10th of July, 1460, a decisive batde was fought on the banks of the Nene, in 
the vicinity of Northampton. After an obstinate contest for five hours, the 
King*s army was completely routed, the King himself taken prisoner, and 
upwards of 10,000 soldiers slain, or drowned in attempting to cross the river. 

• Hall's Chron., p. 174. HoUiashed, p. 1207. 


The slaaghter fell cluefij on the nohiliiy and gentry, the common people 
being spared by order of the Earls of Warwick and Marche ;* and the Duke 
of Bockiii^ham, the Earl of Shiewsbuiyi the Lords Beaumont and Egremont, 
with Sir William Lucy, and several other nobles and officers of distinction, 
were left dead on the field. . Henry was brought a prisoner into Northamp- 
ton, and conTeyed to London in a few days. The Queeni the young Prince 
of Wales, and the Duke of Somerset, fled into the county of Durham, and 
from thence to Wales, and afterwards into Scotland. After this success, the 
Duke of York returned from Ireland, and arrived in London soon after the 
meeting of the Parliament, which assembled on the 9th of October, and in 
which the claims of the two houses of York and Lancaster were fuUy investi- 
gated. The Duke's title being indefeasible, it was decreed that Heniy should 
enjoy the crown during his life; and that Richard, Duke of York, should be 
his successor, as the true and lawful heir of the monarchy; and in this 
anangement Richard acquiesced.t Though the King appeared satisfied 
with this decision, yet the Queen, a woman of masculine understanding, 
seeing her son, the Prince of Wales, deprived, by this settlement, of his sue* 
cession to the throne, was not so passive. She soon returned to England, 
appealed to the Barons, and before the end of the year, drew together at 
York, an army of dO,000 men,^ among whom were the Dukes of Exeter and 
Somerset, the Earl of Northumberland, and the Lords Clifford, Dacre, and 
Neville. The Duke of York, hearing of the Queen's designs, but not knowing 
that she had made such progress in raising en army, set out from London 
on the Snd of December, with only about 6,000 men, giving orders to his 
8on, the Earl of Marche, to levy forces in Wales, and then to join him ; and 
leaving the King to the care of the Duke of Norfolk and the Earl of War* 
wick. As the Duke of York advanced northward, he received the mortifying 
intelligence of the Queen's success in levying troops; and at length being 
arrived in the neighbourhood of Wakefield, he was informed that she was 
approaching to give him battle. ' The Duke, resolving not to engage with 
numbers so greatly disproportionate, retired to his castle at Sandal, to await 
the arrival of the Earl of Marche. The Queen soon appeared before the walls 
of Sandal Castle with the main body of her army, led by the Dukes of 
Somefset and Exeter, provoking her enemy to battle, sometimes by menaces, 
and at other times by insults and defiances, observing that it was disgraceful 
to a man who aspired to a crown, to suffer himself to be shut up by a woman. 

• Stowe, 400. f Cotton's Abridg. pp. 666, 667. Stowe, pp. 410, 411. 

t Hall, p. 18d. HoQinshed, p. 1608. 





Up to this fatal moment the Duke had always displayed great prudence in 
his conduct, but this last taunt of the Queen was more than he could endure. 
He quitted the castle, descended into the plain, and drew up his forces on the 
common between the fortress and Wakefield bridge, caUed Wakefield Green, 
on the 24th of December, 1460. The inequality of numbers was of itself 
suffi(;ient to decide the victory, but the Queen having placed a body of troops 
in ai^bush, under Lord Clifford and the Earl of Wiltshire, they fell upon the 
rear of the Duke s army, while they were attacked by the main body in 
front, and in less than half an hour the Duke himself was slain, and his 
little army was almost annihilated. The Duke's body was soon recognized 
amongst the slain, and his head was cut off by Margaret's orders, and placed 
over Micklegate Bar, at York, with a paper crown upon it, in derision of his 
pretended tiUe."^ His second son, the Earl of Rutland, who had only reached 
his 18th year,f flying from the bloody scene, was overtaken on the bri^e of 
Wakefield, by Lord Clifford, who, in revenge for his father, who had perished 
at the battle of St. Albans, plunged his dagger into his breast, notwithstanding 
his earnest entreaties to spare his life. The Duke of York, who was greatly 
and justly lamented by his own parly, perished in the 60th year of his age, 
and left three sons, Edward, George, and Eichard; and three daughters, 
Anne, Elizabeth, and Margaret About 3000 Yorkists fell in this batde ; 
and the Earl of Salisbuiy, Sir Richard Limbrick, Sir Ralph Stanley, and 
several other persons of distinction were taken prisoners, and inunediately 
decapitated by martial law at Pontefract, and their heads placed on Mickle- 
gate Bar, at York.^ 

Rapin says, the only oversight of the Duke waa in shutting himself up in 
a castle, instead of retreating to join his son. Edward, Earl of Marche, and 
heir to the late Duke of York, was at Gloucester when he received the 
melancholy intelligence of the fate of his feither and brother ; and having 
completed his levies, hast^ied to interpose an army between the royalists 
and the capital. Queen Margaret, after the success at Wakefield, advanced 
towards London, with design to secure that city. The Eaod of Warwick, 
havijig had hi^ ^rmy reinjbrced by a body of Londoners, and brangiHg King 
Henry with him, set out firom London, and gave battle to the Queen's troops, 
on the I7th of February, 1461, on Bamajda, or Baniet, Heathy near St 
Alban9* Victory wsjs agion declared for this valiant Quean, and the Yorkiste 
lost about 2,300 men.§ Night saved the Yorkists ftom uttev destruotion. 

« Beauties of l^nglan^ and Wales. f H9 was Itom 17th May, 1443. 

t HoUinsbMU « Hall. 


By iliis Tictoiy Margai«t had the satisfaction to procure the liberty of the 
captive King. Thoiigb the Queen had gained two battles, and released the 
King, yet it was not in her power to enter London, for her soldiers were 
principaUy borderers, from both sides of the Tweed, accustomed to Uve by 
r^ine, and had been allored to the royal standard by the promise of the 
plunder of the country south of the Trent, and no entreaties or prohibition 
could prevail on them to desist from plundering the town of St. Albans, and 
ike surrounding countxy. The Londoners therefore shut their gates against 
an army which ihey imagined came on purpose to plunder the countiy. The 
King and Queen then ftoceeded to York, and in the city or its vicinity, 
wxm had 60,000 infantry and cavalry, commanded by the Duke of Somerset, 
the Earl of Northumberland, Lord Clifford, and Sir Andrew Trollop. 

But this success of the Lancastrian party lasted not long ; for soon after 
the death of the Duke of York, at the battle of Wakefield, Edward, Earl of 
Marche, his eldest son, now in his 20th year, waived the title of Duke of 
York, on the 5th of March, 1401, and got himself proclaimed King, by the 
title of Edward IV., at London, and in several other places. On that day 
expired the reign of Henry VI., a Prince whose personal character commanded 
the respect of his very enemies, and whose misfortunes still claim the sym- 
pathy of the reader. Edward departed from London a few days afber he 
had been proclaimed ; and having collected a force of nearly 50,000 men, he 
encamped at Pontefract. 

Edward having resolved to meet his competitors, and to decide the contest 
by the law of arms, sent Lord Fitzwalter, with a detachment, to secure the 
pass at Ferrybridge, on the river Aire. The Duke of Somerset began his 
cyperataons by sending Lord Clifford, with a body of his own retainers, ** the 
flower of Craven," to didodge the Yorkists from this post ; and the attack, 
which took place at break of day, was so sudden and furious — ^the guards 
being all aaleep, and not dreaming of an enemy so near them — that the 
Iffidge was easily won, and the Yorkists lost their position. Lord Fitzwalter,"^ 
awakened by the noise, supposing it to arise from some quarrel amongst his 
own soldiers, rushed out amongst them unarmed, and was slain ; and the Earl 
of Salisbury at the same time shared a similar fate. Thus Clifford secured 
the important pass of the river. Consternation now appeared to be becoming 
general, when an act of heroism of the great Earl of Warwick, who was the 
■o«k of Edward's army, restored order and confidence to his soldiers. " For 

• Bapin calls the commander of this detachment, Lord Fitzwalter; but it appears 
fh>m Dogdale, that there was not at that time any person of the name and title. — 
BttTooage, i, p. 328, and ii., p. 285. 


when tlie Earle of Warwike was informed hereof, like a man desperat on his 
hacknie, and hasted puffing and blowing to King Edward, saieng, * Sir, I 
praie God have mercie of their soules, which in the beginning of your enter- 
prise have lost their Hves. And bicause I see no succors of the world, bat 
in God, I remit the vengeance to him our Creator and Redeemer.* With 
that he alighted downe, and slue his horse with his sword, saieng, ' Let him 
flee that will; for surelie I will tany with him that will tany with me;' 
and kissed the crosse of his sword, as it were for a vow to the promise.'** 
This determination of the Earl to share the fate of the meanest soldier, in- 
spired great confidence in the troops ; and to show the greater security, a 
proclamation was issued, giving to eveiy one not well affected to the cause, 
fuU liberty to retire ; but menacing the severest punishment to those who, 
having remained, were discovered exhibiting any symptoms of cowardice in 
the ensuing battle. Rewards and honours were offered to the comrade who 
should slay him who was caught turning his back on the foe. 

Edward lost no time in sending William NeviUe, Lord Faloonberg, with 
a detachment to cross the Aire at Castleford, about four miles above Ferry- 
bridge, with orders to attack those who guarded the lost position. Falconberg 
executed his orders with such secrecy and promptitude, that he sudd^y 
attacked Lord Clifford, who was at the head of a body of horse, which 
was completely routed, and obliged to retreat in confusion towards the 
main body of the army. In his retreat, Clifford, unawares, fell in with 
another party of Yorkists, and having his helmet off, either from the effects 
of heat or pain, a random arrrow pierced his throat, and he fell dead to the 
ground. The brother of the Earl of Westmoiland also was slain in this 
skirmish. Lord CUfford, who from his bloody deeds at Wakefield, was called 
" the Butcher,'* was a fierce soldier; — indeed, it might with truth be said of 
him, '* that a braver warrior never drew a sword, or one whose heart was 
more tempered like the steel he wore." The post of Ferrybridge being thus 
recovered, Edward passed with his whole army over the Aire, and marched, 
by way of Sherbum, towards Tadcaster, in quest of the enemy* The two 
armies confronted each other on the following day, Palm Sunday, the d9th 
of March, 1461, on Towton Field, since called Palm Sunday Field, and im- 
mediately prepared for that bloody and memorable battle, the issue of which 
was to decide — ^what? " Something siirely of the highest importance to the 
weU-being of the nation !'* writes the editor of the Battle Fields of Yorkshire, 
" No ! only whether Henry or Edward was to be the ruler of England. And 

* HoUinshed. 


iox a mere change of masters, the strength of the whole kingdom, its host and 
bravest smis were mustered in arms, the worst passions of human nature 
inflamed, and let loose in actions too horrible for recital. What madness of 
mankind I what foUy ! what reckless waste of God*s great g^fts !'* 

The site of this great battle is a long brow, or ridge of high ground, 
extending between the Tillages of Towton and Saxton, the former village being 
SLtoated about two miles nearly south of Tadcaster, and Saxton nearly two 
miles south of Towton. From this eleyated ridge, now a well cultivated and 
pleasant region, the prospect of the surrounding country is both extensive 
and beautifuL Henry*s army» according to Hall,* consisted of 60,000 men, 
commanded by the Duke of Somerset; and that of Edward amounted to 
48,600, and was led by himself in person. The two wings of the Lancas- 
trian army is supposed to have extended firom Giimston, beyond Towton, to 
a sliest hollow in the high ground in the field, called North Acres, being 
nearly two miles in length. The Yorkists occupied equally elevated ground 
in their front; a level space lying between the armies, and the land gradually 
declining in the rear of both. The great Earl of Warwick, one of the bravest 
warriors in England, commanded the right wing of Edward*s army, Lord 
Falconbeig the left, whilst the main body was led by Edward himself. Sir 
John Yenloe and Sir John Denman, " two valiant commanders," had charge 
of the rear guard. The contest was most obstinate. Edward issued orders 
to his soldiers to give no quarter; and it will suffice to observe, that these 
mighty hosts — ^both strong, both valiant, both commanded by leaders ani- 
mated against each other by all the hatred that faction and deadly thirst for 
revenge could supply, maintained the deadly struggle from seven in the 
momii^ tiU dusk in the evening — ten mortal hours of carnage and slaughter. 
"It is morning, yet the sun rises not! the air is gloomy and dark, thick 
douds obscure the sky. A tempest is gathering — a storm is impending in 
the heavens as weU as upon earth. Yet the wrath of man sleeps not. In 
the armies all is active preparation for the work of death. The trumpets 
have blown their loud notes of defiance. The impatient neigh and tramp of 
the war horse is heard, mingled with the loud and haughty voices of the 
commanders, exhorting their men to daring deeds, and vengeance for their 
kindred already fiallen. The red rose and the white, the &tal colours of the 
striving houses, are about to be bathed in blood. All are eager for the 
combat, no slackness is found on either side. Falconberg confronts the 
army of Henry with young Edward*s vanguard. They are nearly within an 

* FoUo, 186. 


arrow's flight of each other; and the archers are measuring the distance 
with their eyes, knowing how far their feathered shafts can carry death. 
Suddenly the south wind in a lt>a];ing gust, rushes down with a storm of 
snow ; the flaky tempest drives full in the faces of the Lancastrians ; hlinds 
them, so that they cannot see their enemies. Not unohserved hy the wily 
Falconberg ; who instantly gives the command to his bold yeomanry, ' Each 
archer from his bow send a flight arrow to the enemies* ranks, then back 
retire three strides and stand.' Quick as hand can follow thought the order 
is obeyed, for every mind sees advantage from the act. The bow strings 
twang, the whistling shafts, long and light, swifter than the tempest, rush 
against the distant foe ; who, ignorant of the stratagem, bend their bows and 
ply the strings, until the quivers are exhausted. While the Yorkists in grim 
quiet stand idle ; not one of their enemies' shafts has reached them. The 
English Archer s boast, that he carried twelve enemies below his belt, is but 
idle breath for the red rose faction. Not so for their foes, who seeing all 
their enemies' efforts vain to reach them, advance, and with loud derisive 
shouts, send their thick volley like lightning on their foes. Struck down 
helplessly by hundreds with impunity ; volley after volley is sent into their 
crowded ranks. Not only do the Yorkists empty their own quivers on the 
unresisting foe, but gather their enemies' arrows from the Add, and send 
them winged with death unto their former owners. Impatient of the severe 
and deadly shower, Northumberland, Somerset, and Trollop, urge on their 
men to close combat, now their only hope of victory. The bow is laid aside, 
and spears, swords, and battle axes, decide the contest. A fearful scene of 
close and deadly fight ensued — ^no militaay skill is employed, no maxkceuvering 
of forces ; nothing but brute force and physical endurance are required. As 
no prisoners are to be taken on either side, each man fights as though the 
battle depended upon himself alone — ^the determination of all seems to be to 
conquer or die upon the field."* 

There are so many confused and conflicting accounts of this battle, 
is impossible to give a full and particular description of it. But all agree 
that the air was darkened by the snow, which fell very thick, and was blown 
by the wind full in the faces of the Lancastrians, and that this more than 
balanced the advantage they derived firom the superiority of their numbers. 
At length the forces of Henry began to give ground, at first in good order, 
not flying, but retreating as they fought, and makii^ a stand now and then, 
so that their enemies could not be sure of the victory. The troops of Edward, 

• BatUe Fields of Yorkshire. 


mcouraged by his own personal brayery, now made fresh efforts, and at last 
they so pressed the Lancastrians, as to oblige them to fly in disorder. Then 
it was that the dreadful slaughter ensued — ^that the flying troops were cut 
down without mercy. The retreating soldiers shaped their course for Tad- 
caster bridge in order to cross the Wharfe, but despairing of reaching it, be- 
cause they were so hotly pressed, they turned aside, in order to pass the small 
liTer Cock, which runs through one of the most crooked of channels, along 
the west side of the battle field, and enters the Wharfe about a mile south-east 
of Tadcaster. But this movement was made with such confusion and hurry, 
that the Cock was quickly filled with their dead bodies, which served as a 
bridge for the pursued and pursuers to pass ov^r, and the waters of the 
rivnlet rolled a bloody current to the Wharfe. The slaughter at this point 
was so tremendous, that even the waters of the Wharfe were crimsoned with 
the blood of the victims. 98,000 of the Lancastrians were slaughtered in the 
battle and pursuit, and the total number that perished on that dreadful day 
is 87,776. A contemporary historian assures us, that besides those who 
perished in the waters, 38,000 men remained dead on the field.')' The whole 
distance between the battle field and the city of York (ten miles) was covered 
with the bodies of the slain. Edward himself, in a confidential letter to his 
mother, while he conceals his own loss, informs her that the heralds, em- 
pbyed to number the dead bodies, returned the Lancastrians alone at 98,000.f 
Among the slain were the Earls of Northumberland, Westmoriand, and 
Shrewsbuiy ; John, Lord Clifford, already mentioned. Lords Dacre, Beau- 
mont, Neville, Willoughby, Boos, Scales, Grey, Fitzhugh, Molineaux, Welles, 
and Heniy Buckingham ; Sir Andrew Trollop, Sir John Neville, Sir Richard 
Percy, Sir John Heyton, Sir Gervace Clifton, Sir Edward Hamis, Sir Jc^n 
Burton, Sir David Trollop, Sir Thomas Crakenthorpe, Sir John Ormond, and 
many other Knights. The Dukes of Somerset and Exeter were fortunate 
enough to escape the carnage ; but Thomas Courtney, Earl of Devonshire, 
and several others were taken prisonets. This bottle fixed the crown on the 
brow ci Edward. The snow storm of the battle day was succeeded by a 
frost, which congealed the blood upon the snow; and as the wounds were all 
made with arrows^ swords, spears, and battle-axes, the effusion of blood would 
be grmtet than in a modem battle. And when a thaw came, and dissolved 
the mass, the field presented a most horrible spectacle, the ftmrows and water 
courses literally running with blood. ^ 

• Cent. Hist. Croyland, p. 653. •» Fenn's Letters, voL i, p. 217. 
{ Some writers dispute the fietct, that the waters of the Wharfe could be dyed with 
blood by the carnage of the battle, bm at the e^tor of the BatOe Fieldt of Yarkihiret 


Thus did the folly of the nation exhibit itself; and thus did dose upon 
40|000 Englishmen sacrifice their Hyes in deciding the question whether an 
amiable and imbecile Sovereign, or a javenile, but able, yoluptuous, and 
sanguinary tyrant (as he afterwards proyed to be), should be their master. 
No other object was involved in the struggle-nno wrongs were redressed, 
no rights were obtained — ^it was not a combat for justice or freedom, for they 
were names and things unknown and forgotten amid the dissonant dash 
of arms, and the bloody vengeance of furious party spirit The £ari of 
Northumberknd reached York before he died; Lord Clifford was tumbled 
into a pit along with a heap of dead bodies ; the £ari of Westmoriand was 
buried in Saxton church ; and Lord Dacre was interred in Saxton church 
yard, where is a " meane tomb " to his memory. 

Lord Dacre is supposed to have been killed in the field called North Acres 
while drinking, having removed his gorget for that purpoacf The traditkni 
of the neighbourhood is, that he was struck in the throat by a bolt, or head* 
less arrow, shot from a cross-bow by a boy, hid in a ''burtree," or elder bush. 
The spot where the event took place is yet pointed out by the inhabitants. 
It is a rising ground a short distance from the cross roads at the north west 
comer of Scarthingwell Park; and many *' burtrees ** are yet growing in the 
a^acent hedgerows. An old dwarf thorn yet stands near the place, which 
may have been a tree at the time of the battle. The bodies of the common 
men were thrown into large pits, numbers together. According to Stowe, 
the slain were buried in five great pits, yet appearing, to the north of Saxton 
church; but Mr. Hungate caused them to be removed from thence, and 
buried in the church yard of Saxton. Li preparing a vault near Lord 
Decrees tomb, on the north of the church, a few years ago, to receive the 

very justly remarks, — ^This is very probable. The Cock is a small river, not more than 
ten feet T?ide, and which a man of ordinary agility might easily overleap. We are told 
that the greatest slaughter began when the Lancastrians fled in conftision across the 
brook; and the water oonrse being filled with the bodies of those who foil, fiusOitated 
the passage of their oomrades, as well as of their pursuers. The Lancastrians flying 
from the battle field, from about North Acres, would rush down Towton dale without 
seeking for a bridge, when so narrow a river wotdd soon be filled with the drowned and 
slain. And it must be considered, that as the Cock does not nm above two miles fhr- 
ther, it may easily oairy its ensanguined waters into the Whaife. Besides, as the chase 
was continued for some distance, it is not unlikely that many might be slain on the 
banks of the Wharfe itself near Tadcaster. There is even yet a tradition current in the 
neighbourhood, that the Cock ran blood for fi>rt7-eight hours at that time. 

• The following rhyme is well known to the people of Saxton : — 

<*The LoidDMfM, 
Wm ilaia in Not* Aem.'* 


body of a gentleman of the name of Prest, of Scarthingwell Hall, an immense 
mass of bones was cut through^ near five feet in thickness, and of consider^ 
able extent. This proves the correctness of the statement that the bones 
vrere removed to the church yard. Drake, the historian of York, saw a 
grave opened in 1784, where, among vast quantities of bones, were found 
some arrow piles, pieces of broken swords, and five groat pieces of Henry 
IV., v., and YI. In the fields around the village of Saxton are several 
artificial mounds, probably depositories of the dead slain in this terrible 
battle ; and near the hamlet of Lead, close to the Cock rivulet, are three 
mtate mounds of a similar kind, nearly close together, about six feet in height, 
and forty-two feet in diameter, which, in all probability, cover multitudes of 
the slain. AU writers agree that the bodies of the soldiers were buried be- 
neath large mounds on the field of battle ; but the lapse of four centuries, 
and the continued action of the plough and harrow, have worn many of them 
nearly down to the level surfisice of the soil. Circles may yet be seen in the 
field above a stone quarry, which mark the spots as repositories of the slain. 
In this field, which formed part oi the battle ground, flourishes profusely a 
dwarf rose, which it is reported the Yorkists, either in afiection, or in triumph, 
planted on the graves of their fallen countrymen.'!' 

The author of the Battle Fields of Yorkshire tells us, that another beautiful 
and iiuiciful notion' is, that this rose will not grow elsewhere ; " and that 
Providence has caused it to spring firom the blended blood of the victims of 
the red and white rose factions, which are typified in its white petals slightly 
tinged with red, and in the dull bloody hue of the leaves of the older wood. 
This pleasing piece of superstition," he adds " has caused many of those di- 
minutive shrubs to be removed firom their native soil, and carried far away to 
other places." Patches and clusters of these rose trees in full blow may be 
seen every year; and it appears very difficult to eradicate the plant, for 
whilst the least portion of the root remains in the soil, it will, in due time, 
shoot forth a plant, and bear its delicate white flower, upon which the rustic, 
happy in his legendary lore, traces in its slight tinges of pink, the blood of 

Among the few relics of the battle found, was a gold ring weighing more 
than an oimce, which was turned up on the field about the year 1786. It 

• lo the foregoing desoription of the battle of Towton Field, we have been led into a 
alight error, by following the accounts of Bapin and most of the historians, who state 
that the flying Lancastrians heing unable to reach Tadcaster bridge, tamed aside, in 
order to pass the small river Cock. This is eridently a mistake ; for to pass the Cock 
from the field of batUe, was the only way by which they could gain Tadcaster bridge. 



bore the creet of the noble family of Percy* and it ia supposed the ring was 
worn by the Earl of Northumberland on the day of the battle. A silver gilt 
ring, with two hands coigoined, and an antique spur, with some other tzifling 
articles, have also been found on the battle field. 

On a part of the field north of Saxion, Bichaid m. began to build a 
chapel, in which prayers might be said for the souls of the ahdn ; but its 
completion was prevented by his death at the battle of Bosworth Field. No 
remains of this chapel are now to be seen ; but the site is yet oaUed " Chi^ 
Garth." The batde of Towton Field is called among the country people 
*' the Towton Dale Fight ;" and they also say that it took place on a Sunday, 
whilst the people were attending mass at Saxton church. 

King Henry, his Queen, and their young son Edward, who had remained at 
York during the battle, retired into Scotland with the Dukes of Somerset and 
Exeter, and afterwards quitted the kingdom. Edward entered the cily of 
York soon aflter their departure, and immediately took down from the Bar, the 
head of his father, and those of his Mends, which had been upon the walls of 
the city since the battle of Wakefield, and in return ordered Thomas Courtney, 
Earl of Devon, the Earl of Kyme, Sir William HiU, and Sir Thomas Fulford, 
adherents to Henry, to be executed, and their heads to be placed on the 
vacant poles over Mickl^ate Bar. Edward soon after repaired to London, 
where he was crowned on the 29tb of July next following. When the Par- 
liament assembled, both houses were eager to display their attachment to 
their new Sovereign. They first pronounced the reigns of the three last 
Kings a tyrannical usurpation, and then followed a sweeping bill of attainder, 
which extended itself to almost every man who had distinguished himself in 
the cause of the house of Lancaster. The unfdrtunate Henry YI., his Queen, 
and son, together with the Dukes of Somerset and Exeter, the Earls of North- 
umberland, Devon, Wiltshire, and Pembroke, and a large number of Viscounts, 
Knights, Priests, and Esquires, were adjudged to sufier all the penalties of 
treason. La defence of such imexampled severity, it was allied the advan- 
tage of annihilating at once the power of the parfy; and to this motive was 
probably added another, the necessity of providing funds firom which Edward 
might satisfy the expectations of those to whose services he owed the present 
possession of the crown. 

The cause of the red rose now appeared desperate; but it was still supported 
by the courage and industiy of Margaret To aid hear cause, she visited the 
continent, and invited all true Knights to avenge the wrongs of an ]i\jured 
monarch. The Duke of Bretagne made her a present of 12,000 crowns; and 
the King of France ^Louis XI.) lent her 20,000 crowns, and permitted Breze, 


the Seneschal of Nonnaiidy, to fbQow her fortunes with 2,000 men. Aller 
tn absence of five months, she retnmed, and summoned to her standard the 
friends of her fiunilj on the holders ; and with this army, composed of Scotch, 
French, and Northumbrians, she seized the three fortresses of Bamborough, 
Ahuwidc, and Dunstanburgh. But when the Earl of Warwick arrived with 
90,000 men, and intelligenoe was receiyed of the advance of Edward with an 
eqnal number, the Lancastrians separated to garrison their conquests, and 
the Queen, wilii her French auxiliaries, repaired to their ships. The winds 
and ihe waves now seemed to have conspired against her ; part of her fleet, 
with all her treasures, were dashed against the rocks ; and Margaret and 
Bies^ arrived in a fishing boat at Berwick. Warwick, dividing the rojal 
army into three bodies, besieged at the same time the three fortresses, which 
snmndered after a brave and obstinate resistance. 

The spirit and activity of Margaret exposed her during this winter cam- 
paign to numerous privations and dangers. After the loss of the above-named 
cast&eB, she, accompanied by the Duke of Exeter, Brezd, and 300 exiles, 
sailed to Sli^, in Flanders. The Duke of Bui^gundy received her with every 
mark of outward distmction, but refused to listen to her soUcitatrons in favour 
of her husband. He gave her a supply of money for her present expenses, 
and forwarded her in safety as fistr as the Dnchy of Bar, in Lorraine, 
belonging to her fiither. There she fixed her residence, watching, with 
anxiety, the course of events, and consoling her sorrows with the hope of yet 
placing her husband or her son on, the English throne. 

In the beginning of the above campaign, Edward, with a numerous army, 
and most of his nobility, on their march to the north against the unfor- 
tunate Henry, visited Torii. Edward proceeded no further than Newcastle, 
having been taken ill at that place ; and the command of the entire army 
was undertaken by Warwick. Henry, who for security had been conveyed 
to the castle of Hardlough, in Merionethshire, commanded by David ap 
Jevan ap Eynion, who, in defiance of repeated acts of attainder, refused to 
submit to Edward ; was, in the same year, summoned to put himself at the 
head of a body of exiles and Scots. He was soon joined by the Duke of 
Somerset, Sir Ralph Percy, and their adherents. The Lancastrians en- 
camped on the banks of the Dilswater, near Hexham ; where they were soon 
attacked by a powerful army, commanded by Neville, Lord Montague, the 
Warden of the East Marches. Somerset, who was endeavouring to save 
himself by flighti was taken, beheaded the same day, and buried in the 
neighbouring Abbey. Two days later, the Lords Roos and Hungerford met 
with the same fate on the Sandhill, at Newcastle ; and many of their fol- 


lowers were successively executed in that town, and at York. Henry sayed 
himself by flight. Hollinshed tells us that here he shewed himself an excel- 
lent horseman, for he rode so fast, that none could overtake him. His 
servants and equipage fell into the enemy's hands, and among the latter was 
found the royal cap, called Bycoket, or Abacot,* with which Edward was 
again crowned on the 4th of May, in the same year, with great solemnity at 

Lord Montague was now created Earl of Northumberland ; and another 
list of attainders contributed to exhaust the resources of King Henry, and to 
add to those of Edward. The citizens of York, as well as the people of the 
north in general, had hitherto firmly attached themselves to the house of 
Lancaster ; but they now seem to have espoused the cause of Edward, or he 
endeavoured to gain them to his favour, for before he left that city on this 
occasion, he, by patent dated York, June 10th, 1464, not only relinquishes 
his usual demands, or fee farm rent of the city, but assigned it for the twelve 
succeeding years, an annual rent of £40., to be paid out of his customs in 
the port of HuU. In this extraordinary document (which is now deposited 
in the Tower of London) the King expresses his great concern for the suf- 
ferings and hardships the city had imdergone during these wars, and for the 
poverty they had occasioned. 

After the- flight from Hexham, Henry sought an asylum among the natives 
of Lancashire and Westmorland, a people sincerely devoted to his interests, 
and was during this time frequently concealed in the house of John Machdl, 
at Crakenthorp, in Westmorland.* For more than a year he eluded the 
vigilance and researches of the government ; but he was at last betrayed by 
the perfidy of Cantlow, a monk of Abingdon, and taken by the servants of 
Sir James Harrington, of Brierley, in or near to Waddington Hall, in York- 
shire. At Islington the unfortunate monarch was met by the Earl of 
Warwick, who ordered by proclamation that no one should show him any 
respect, tied his feet to the stirrups as a prisoner, led him thrice round the 
pillory, and conducted him to the Tower. 

The Lancastrians having abandoned the contest after the battle near 
Hexham, Edward for some years kept quiet possession of the crown. But 
at length he, who had driven Henry into exile, was in his turn obliged to 
share the same fortune himself, owing to the defection of " that setter up and 

• Spelman says that this word signified a royal cap ensigned with two crowns of gold, 
which doubtless were those of England and France. 

* Bymer, xi., p. 948. 


poller down of Kings," the Earl of Warwick. Whilst that Earl was in 
France, negociating a treaty of marriage between Edward and the French 
King s sister, it happened that the former visited WjdeviUe, Lord Rivers, i^t 
Grafton (Northamptonshire), where he saw his daughter Elizabeth, relict of 
Sir John Grey, of Groby (a Lancastrian), a woman of superior beaufy and 
accomplishments. The Lady Grey, whose husband had fallen at the second ' 
battle of St Albans, seized the opportunity to throw herself at the feet of her 
sovereign, and solicit him to reverse the attainder of her late husband, in 
favour of her destitute children. The King pitied — ^nay, soon loved the 
beautiful suppliant, and in the end married her, after having vainly en- 
deavoured to debauch her. But the connection proved calamitous, for the 
Earl of Warwick, disgusted with Edward*s conduct in consequence of this 
alliance, espoused the cause of Henry, in which he united his two brothers, 
the Marquis Montecute and Lord George, one of whom was Lord President 
of the North, and the other Archbishop of York. Warwick was Governor of 
Calais ; and it was agreed that whilst he at that place endeavoured to excite 
the inhabitants, the two brothers should stir up a commotion in the north. 
They soon entered into a correspondence with the eldest sons of the Lord 
Fitzhugh, and Neville, Lord Latimer, Sir John Conyers, and others, to de- 
throne Edward, and restore Henry. Their attention was directed to the city 
of York, where was an Hospital, dedicated to St. Leonard, to the Warden of 
which, certain Thraves of com from every plough land, had been paid since 
the time of King Athelstan.* It was supposed that these thraves had ori- 
ginally been a voluntary contribution, but which, by custom, were at length 
considered a debt. In the beginning of the last reign, in consequence of 
some of the farmers having withheld the thraves, it was deemed necessary to 
have them confirmed to the hospital by Act of Parliament. 

The government officers appointed to collect these thraves having at this 
time (a.d. 1469) attempted to levy their value by distress, the farmers and 
the peasants flew to arms, chose for their leader Robert Hilyard, or Hul- 
deme, commonly called Robin of Redesdale, and threatened to march to the 
south and reform the abuses of government The two brothers of the Earl 
of Warwick are said to have improved the opportunity to increase the spirit 

• A Throve ms sometimes twelve, and at other times twenty-four sheaves. The 
King's thraves were called Horatafia, Herstraffa, or Herat Com, and were payments in 
lien of the King's right to pastorage and forage for his horses ; and it appears that King 
Athelstan endowed St. Leonard's Hospital with some of his thraves in this county. 
The same monarch endowed the Collegiate establishment at Beverley with four thraves 
of com annually fktnn eveiy plough land in the Bast Biding. 


of revolt By misrepresentiiig tlie affidr, they are said to have ezaspeiated 
the people to such an eztenti that 15,000 mea arose in arms, and marched 
towards Yoik. The citizens of York were alarmed by the approadi of the 
insurgents ; bat the Earl of Northumberland, Warwiok*s brother, to prevent 
the destraction of the city, attacked and defeated them with coneiderable 
alaaghter; and executed their leader on the field of batde. This dream- 
stance would seem to acquit one of the Nevilles from all share in the insur- 
rection ; but it must be borne in mind that he could, if he pleased, have 
instantly extinguiflhed the flame before it grew into a general c<mflagration ; 
and his inactivity subsequent to their attack upon York» together with the 
conduct of his two brothers, prove that, whatever were its original cause^ 
they were willing at least to convert it to their own purposes. 

The rebels had lost their leader, but they found two othere of more illus- 
trious name in the before-mentioned sons of Lords Fitzhugh and Latimer — 
the one the nephew, and the other the cousin-german of Warwick; and these 
young men, though nominally at the head of the rebels, in realily obeyed the 
commands of Sir John Conyers, an old and experienced officer. The claim of 
the hospital was now forgotten, and their avowed object was to remove from 
the King's councils the Wydevilles (the Queen's fiimily, of whose influence 
with the King the Nevilles were jealous), the authors of the taxes that 
impoverished, and of the calamities that oppressed the nation. At the name 
of Wanrick, his tenants crowded from every quarter ; and in a few days the 
insurgents reached a very large number. On the first intdligence of the 
rising in Yorkshire, Edward summoned his retainers, and fixed his head 
quarters at the castle of Fotheringhay. The King's forces and the rebels met 
in the neighbourhood of Banbury ; the former under the joint command of 
the Earls of Pembreke and Devon. The two Earls entered Banbury together, 
but quarrelled in an evil hour about their quarters, *' The Eari of Pem- 
broke," says Hall, " putte the Erie of Devon out of an Inne, wherein he 
delighted muche to be, for the love of a damoeell that dwelled in the house ; 
contrary to their mutuall agroment by them taken, whiche was, that whoso- 
euer obterned first a lodgyng, should not be deceiued nor remoued.** 

The Earl of Devon, after a hearty quarrel with his brother general, retired 
with his division ; and the rebels, profiting by this opportunity, attacked the 
remaining forces. The day was for some time doubtful, but the insurgents 
at length prevailed, and beheaded the Eari of Pembroke, either in the town, 
or its immediate neighbourhood, together with his brother. Sir Bichard 
Herbert, and ten other gentlemen. This conflict is said to have taken place 
at Danesmoor, or Dunsmoor, as it is now called. Hall^ Grafton, and Hollin* 


afafid state that above 600 WelBhmen» of which the Earl of Pembroke's Ibrcea 
were prinoipally oomp06ed» were slain in this battle ; and William of Wor* 
oeater states, that at-least 168 of the nobility and gentry of Wales fell in this 
hattle. About 1,600 of the inmirgents were slain on the same fidd, among 
whom weve Sir Henrjr Latimer* Sir Roger Pigot, knt, fto. The Nevilles 
then proceeded in search of Edward* whom they found at Olney, in Buok- 
inghamshire» plunged in the deepest distress at the defeat of Pembroke. 
Here he was taken prisoner* and placed in the custody of the Archbishop of 
York, who sent him to Middleham castle. And then did England ezhiUt 
the ertraordinary spectade of two rival Kings* each confined in prison*— 
Heniy in the Tower* and Edward in Yorkshire. At the command of War- 
wick* the insurgents returned to their homes, laden with plunder. Edward 
soon afterwards escaped from Middleham* and fled into France.')' 

The poor* passive King Henry was now brought out of the Tower, where 
he had been a prisoner for nearly nine years* and amidst great rgoidngs* 
once more reinstated in his kingly dignity. A Parliament was called, which 
confirmed Henry's title to the crown with great solemnity; Edward was 
pronounced an usurper, and all acts passed by his authority repealed; 
and Warwick was received among the people under the tide of the King 
Maker. But Heniy*s evil fate suflered him not to ei\|oy his honours long, 
for Edward having prevailed with the Duke of Burgundy* his brother-in-law* 
to lend him an aid of men and money, set sail, and after an absence of nine 
months, landed at Ravenspume, on the 14th of March, 1471, on the spot 
where Bdingbroke had previously landed to dethrone Richard 11. 

Edward, who was attended by d,000 men, sent some of his followers to 
sound the a&ctiona of the people ; but finding all the parts of the country 
firom where he had landed to York, very much averse to his title, and perfectly 
satisfied with Henry*s rule, he artfully pretended that he came but to daim 
his patrimonial estate of Yorit only, and not the crown. This dissimulation 
had the desired effect upon the people, who admired his modemtioa, and 
thought it the highest injustice to keep him from his dukedom. This politic 
artifice was disbelieved by Warwick, who sent strict orders to the city of 
York and tjie town of Hull that he should not be admitted. On his way 
towards York, he everywhere proclaimed Heniy King, and styled himself 
only Duke of York; and he wore in his bonnet an ostrich feather the device 
of Edward, the Lancastrian Prince of Wales. On his near ^preach to the 

« There aie mfwnl aoeoonts of the escape of Edvard, bat that which is generally 
SiTVD is, that the Arohlnahop aDowed him to lum^ and that one day while he waa em- 
ldo7ediathBtaaei«M,hawaBoairiedeff hyhiaftieadf. Hall,S08. 


city he was met bj- two Aldermen, who informed him that he could not be 
received there, but that the citizens would oppose him to the utmost. 

Notwithstanding this message, however, on his coming to the gates, and 
repeating his former professions of loyalty to King Henry, and swearing to 
be true and faithful to him, he was admitted. He rode immediately to the 
Cathedral, and there in a most solemn manner confirmed his oath on the 
high altar.* This, however, was an act of base hypocrisy ; for no sooner had 
he performed this ceremony, than he seized the guards, assumed the r^al 
tide, raised a considerable loan in the city, and leaving it well garrisoned, 
marched to London, where, on his arrival, the gates were thrown open to 
him, and the like acclamations heard as Henry had enjoyed but six months 

The sequel is known to every reader of English histoiy — ^the decisive battle 
of Bamet soon followed, in which Edward defeated Henry's forces; the great 
Earl of Warwick was slain, together with his brother and 10,000 of their 
adherents.! This battle took place on Easter Sunday, 1471 ; and on that 
very day Queen Margaret landed at Weymouth with a body of French 
auxiharies. When she heard the fatal news of the death of the brave 
Warwick, and the total destruction of her party, she gave way to her grief, 
for the first time it is said, in a torrent of tears. She sank to the ground in 
despair, and as soon as she recovered her composure, hastened with her son 
for safety to the Abbey of Ceme. But the Lancastrian Lords, who still 
remained faithful to the cause, induced her to quit her asylum, conducted her 
to Bath, and raised a considerable body of troops to fight tmder her banner. 
A few days after the battle of Bamet, Edward was summoned to the field of 
Tewkesbury, where his good fortune again prevailed. Margaret*s forces were 
routed, though the Lancastrians fought to the last with imdaunted bravery. 
Immediately after the battle. Prince Edward, the son of Henry, was murdered 
in cold blood by the Dukes of Clarence and Gloucester, aided by Lord 
Hastings and Sir Thomas Grey, in the presence of Edward, who, it is said, 
struck the brave youth the first blow with his gauntlet. Henry was thrown 

• Historians remark that thoagb the due punishment of this wUfol peijury was with- 
held from Edward himself, yet it fell in full measure upon his children. 

f The Earl of 'Warwick was one of the most extraordinaiy characters of his time, 
and one of the bravest warriors, and most rich and powerfol nobles in England, He 
owed his popularity as much to his hospitality as to his personal qualities. It was of 
the most unbounded and profUse kind: It is said that S0,000 persons were regularly 
maintained in his numerous castles, and any man might walk into his kitehen at 
pleasure, and take away as much beef or mutton as he could cany on his dagger. 


into the Tower, where he expired in a few days, or, according to some, was 
put to a violent death by Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Margaret was im- 
prisoned, first in the Tower, afterwards at Windsor, and lastly at Wallingford, 
with a weekly allowance of five marks for the support of herself and her 
servants. After a captivity of five years, she was ransomed by Louis, King 
of France, for 50,000 crowns, and retired to Ai^ou, where she closed her 
eventful life in the year 148Q. This extraordinary woman, who sustained 
the cause of her amiable but truly unfortunate husband, in twelve battles, 
died very miserable indeed; but with few other claims to our pity, except her 
courage and her distresses. 

Some years sabsequent to the batde in Tewkesbury Park, Edward IV. 
visited York for the last time. He was met at a village called Wentbridge, 
some distance from the city, by John Ferriby, then Lord Mayor, the Alder- 
men, and commonally on horseback, and many of the principal citizens, who 
conducted him with loud acclamations to the city. He departed in a few 
days, having first made the city a present of a laiige sum of money. 

This King is said to have been the most accomplished, and till he grew too 
unwieldy, the most handsome man of the age. The love of pleasure was his 
ruling passion ; and few Princes were more magnificent in their dress, or 
more licentious in their amours. His excesses at last incapacitated him for 
active exertion, and he entirely abandoned the charge of military afiairs to 
his brother Richard, the Duke of Gloucester. A slight ailment, induced by 
the debaucheries in which he indulged, suddenly exhibited the most danger- 
ous symptoms, and in a few days put a period to his existence, in the 41st 
year of his age, and 33rd of his reign. Edward might have promised 
himself a long and prosperous reign, had not continued indulgence enervated 
his constitution, and sown the seeds of that malady which consigned him to 
the grave. He left two sons, Edward, in his 12th year, who succeeded him, 
and Richard, Duke of York and Earl Marshal, in his 11th year. Of his 
five daughters, who had been in their youths affianced to foreign monarchs, 
Elizabeth was afterwards married to King Henry Vu. ; Cecily, to the Vis- 
count Welles ; Anne, to Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk ; Catherine, to 
WiHiam Courtenay, Earl of Devon ; and Bridget became a nun in the con- 
vent of Dartford. 

Having the command of the army against the Scote, Richard, Duke of 
Gloucester, was employed in the marches at the time of his brother's death ; 
but the moment he heard of that event, he repaired to York, with a train of 
600 Knighte and Esquires, dressed in deep mourning, and ordered a solemn 
requiem mass to be celebrated in the Cathedral of that city, for the repose of 



the late King's soul. Gloucester was a Prince of insatiable ambition, who 
could conceal the most bloody projects under the mask of affection and loyalty. 
After the funeral obsequies had been peiformed with royal magnificence, he 
summoned the nobles and gentlemen of the county to swear allegiance to 
Edward V . ; and to give them an example, was himself the first who took the 
oath. Having been appointed protector of the realm, he assumed the lofty 
style of " brother and uncle of Kings, protectour and defensour, great cham- 
beriayne, constable, and Lord High Admiral of En^and.'* About this time 
the Corporation of York begged of Gloucester to move the King for a dimi- 
nution of their yearly payments to the crown, in consideration of the expenses 
they had incurred in the public service. It is well known to the reader of 
English history that Gloucester's ambition soon afterwards led him to usurp 
the sovereignty, and to cause his nephews (the youthful King and his brother 
Clarence) to be secretly murdered in the Tower, and that he was crowned at 
Westminster, uuder the title of Richard IH., together with his consort Anne, 
the daughter of the late Earl of Warwick, in the year 1483. In the latter 
end of August in the same year, the King, accompanied by his Queen, and 
the youthful Prince Edward, made a journey to the north, and visited York. 
It appears that Eichard was most anxious to appear in an imposing manner 
before his northern subjects on this occasion, as we find his secretary writing 
from Nottingham to York, urging <* the gude masters, the mair, i^corder, and 
aldermen, and sheriffs," to make splendid preparations for their Majesties' 
reception, " for there,'' says he, " be comen many southern lords, and men of 
worship, which will mark greatly your resayving thar graces ;" and in the 
same letter he assures them of the singular love which tiie King bore to the 
city of York " afore all others." And in a letter writtai by Richard himself 
(preserved in the Harleian MSS.) from York to Piers Courties, keeper of his 
wardrobe, he orders him to send hither an almost incredible supply of gor- 
geous state apparel. 

Most historians assert that on this occasion Riehaid was crowned at York 
by Archbishop Rotherham ; bat in this they are in error, as Mr. Daviee, kte 
town-clerk of York, has shown c<»iclusively — there being no reoord of snch 
coronation, either in the archives of the Coiporation ef York, or in the official 
acts of Archbishop Rotherham.f Nor is Uiere any account of a coronation 
given by any contemporai;;^ chronicler. But what has led writers of a later 

« Hist. Croyl. eontd. 

f Extraotfi ttom the Municipal Becords of the City of York, by Bohert Davies, F.SA., 
pp. 1280, 286. 


date into error is, no doubt, the extraordinary splendour with which the cere- 
mony of knighting the young Prince Edward was conducted here during the 
royal visit. On the 8th of September, the Prince was not only knighted, 
but he was invested with his full title and dignity as Prince of Wales. On 
this occasion, says Hall, '* the whole clergy assembled in copes, richly revested, 
and so with a reverent ceremony went into the city in procession, after whom 
fi^owed the King, with his crown and sceptre, apparelled in his circot robe 
royal, accompanied with no small number of the nobilily of his realm ; after 
whom marched in order Queen Anne, his wife, likewise crowned, leading on 
her left hand. Prince Edward, her son, having on his head a demy crown 
appointed for the degree of a Prince. The King was had in that triumph in 
such honour, and the common people of the north so rejoiced, that they 
extolled and praised him far above the stars."* 

Tournaments, masques, plays, and other diversions, in which all the peers 
in the kingdom joined, took place on this occasion, and so luxurious was the 
feasting, and so prodigious were the sums of money expended, that the royal 
treasury was nearly exhausted, though about that period wheat sold for 2s. 
a quarter, barley for Is. lOd., and oats for Is. 2d. This monarch dis- 
tinguished the city of York by various marks of royal munificence, and the 
citizens showed their gratitude by a steady adherence to his interests. Soon 
after the accession of Richard, the Duke of Buckingham took up arms against 
him, and a proclamation from the King, declaring the Duke a traitor, was 
publicly read at York. There were named with him in the proclamation the 
Marquis of Dorset, Sir William Noreys, Sir William Knevet, and some 
others of the Duke*s adherents; and a reward of £1000 in money was offered 
in the proclamation, or £100 a year in land to any person who should bring 
the Duke to justice; and 1000 marks, or 100 marks a year, for the Marquis. 
In 1485, Richard and Anne, his Queen, visited Scarborough, and resided 
for some time in the castle. The King was very liberal to that town, not 
only adding to its security by a wall and bulwark, but also granting a charter, 
with more extensive privileges than those of his predecessors. 

The crown which he had so iniquitously obtained, was not preserved to 
him long. On the 7th of August, 1485, Henry, Earl of Richmond (the 
representative, in right of his mother, of the house of Lancaster), landed from 
Harfleur, in Normandy, with an army, at Milford-Haven, in South Wales, 
and proceeded to Lichfield, his army being augmented on the way. The 
forces of the King met those of the Earl near Bosworth, in Leicestershire, 

* Hall's Chronicle, p. 380. 


on the 22ad of the same month, where the battle, which determined the quarrel 
of the two contending houses of York and Lancaster, was fought Richard 
was slain, and his army totally routed. His crown, which was found in the 
field, was immediately placed by Lord Stanley on the head of the Earl of 
Richmond, and the army saluted him King. Richard's body was stripped, 
thrown across a horse behind a pursuivant-at-arms, and in that manner con- 
veyed to Leicester, where it was exposed for two days to public view, and 
then interred with litde ceremony in the church of the Grey Friars. 

The accession of Henry VII. to the throne, and his subsequent marriage 
with the Princess Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV., and heiress of the 
house of York, united the interests of the houses of York and Lancaster, and 
blended the " two roses." 

" The houses now of York and Lancaster, 
Like bloody brothers fighting for a birthright, 
No more shall wound the parent that would part 'em. 
m • m 

We'll twine the roses, red and white, together, 
And both fix>m one kind stalk shall ever flourish."* 

The Princess Elizabeth had been sent by Richard, as a captive to Sheriff 
Mutton Castle, near York ; and it is said that the tyrannic Prince intended 
to marry her himself (though she was his niece) as a matter of policy. She 
was conducted publicly to London, by a numerous body of nobility, and her 
marriage with the King was soon after solemnized. After his marriage, the 
new monarch resolved to make a progress through the kingdom. The na- 
tives of the northern counties had been much devoted to Richard ; and Henry 
hoped, by spending some time amongst them, to attach them to his interests. 
Accordingly he set out with a numerous and splendid retinue, and visited 
Lincoln, Nottingham, and many other places. At Pontefract he received 
intelligence that Lord Level, formerly Chamberlain to Richard, had raised a 
force in the neighbourhood of Ripon and Middleham, and was preparing to 
surprise him at his entry into York. The Duke of Bedford, at the head of 
a pretty numerous body of forces, prepared to meet the insurgents ; but upon 
the publication of an offer of pardon to all who should return to their duty, 
the rebel army immediately dispersed. Level himself escaped from the king- 
dom, and a few of has followers were executed by the Earl of Northumberland. 
The King made his entry into York with royal magnificence. Three miles 
from the city he was met by the Lord Mayor and Aldermen on hoi*seback ; 

* Shakespeare. 


at the gate he was reeeived with a procession of the clergy, the acclamations 
of the populace, and the exhibition of pageants. He spent three weeks in 
the city, dispensing favours, conferring honours, and redressing grievances ; 
a conduct, the policy of which was proved by the loyalty of the country 
during the invasion of the following year. Amongst other favours granted 
to the citizens of York, he diminished the yearly rent of JS160., which they 
paid to the crown, to the small sum of JS18. 5s.* 

The perpetuation of the crown in the family of its present possessor was 
now threatened by the birth of a Prince ; and this event uiged the enemies 
of the King to one of the most extraordinary attempts recorded in history. 
After the death of the Duke of Clarence, brother to Edward lY., his only 
child, Edward Plantagenet, was created Earl of Warwick, the title borne by 
his grandflBtther. When Henry VII. ascended the throne, this youthful 
Earl had only reached his 16th year ; and he had been for some time a 
prisoner in the castle of Sheriff Hutton, in which place he had been confined 
by Eichard HI., who feared that he might one day become a dangerous com- 
petitor for the crown. One of the first acts of the new King was to transfer 
the young Prince, from his prison in Yorkshire, to a place of greater secu- 
rity — ^the Tower, he too viewing him with peculiar jealousy ; and thus was 
this innocent child made a victim to satisfy the ambition of others. 

One Richard Simons, a young priest of Oxford, landed in Dublin with a 
boy about fifteen years of age, and presented him to the Earl of Kildare, the 
Lord Deputy, and the chief of the Yorkists in Ireland, under the name of 
the unfortunate Earl of Warwick, and implored the protection of that noble- 
man for a young and innocent Prince, who, by escaping from the Tower, had 
avoided the fate similar to that of his unfortunate cousins, the sons of 
Edward lY . The boy was in reality Lambert Simnel, the son of a baker at 
Oxford, a youth of handsome exterior, good address, and endowments of the 
mind above his years ; and he had been well instructed in the part which he 
had to perform, as he could relate, with apparent acciuucy, his adventures 
at Sheriff Hutton, in the Tower, and during his escape. 

The Earl of Lincoln, who had been declared by Richard IH., heir pre- 
sumptive to the crown, and whose hopes were blighted by the accession of 
Henry, was one of the first that openly espoused the cause of the impostor. 
The Earl embarked for Flanders to concert with his aunt, Margaret of York, 
Duchess of Burgundy, the means of dethroning Henry, and to solicit her 
^support in the undertaking. The Duchess, who was sister to the two late 

• Bot. Pari, vi, 800. 


Kings, and a mortal ememy to the house of Lancaster, immediatelj agreed 
to famish the Earl with 2,000 Hurgundian soldiers. The boy Simnel was 
introduced under his assumed name, to the citizens of Dublin and the 
nobility of Ireland, by Lord Thomas Fitzgerald, the Chancellor, brother to 
the Lord Deputy, With the exception of the Butlers, the Bishops of 
Gashel, Ologher, Tuam, and Ossoiy, and the citizens of Waterlbrd, the 
rest of the population, relying on the authority of the Earl of Eildare, 
admitted the title of the new Plantagenet without doubt or investigation ; 
and having been joined by the Earl of Lincdn and his Burgundians, as well 
as by Lord Lovel and others, he was proclaimed in Dublin by the style of 
Edward YL, King of England and France, and Lord of Ireland^ The 
ceremony of coronation was performed by the Bishop of Meatb, with a 
diadem taken from a statue of the Madona ; writs were even issued in his 
name ; a Parliament was convoked ; and legal penalties were enacted against 
his principal opponents in Ireland. When the intelligence reached Henry, 
he conducted the real Earl pf Warwick irom the Tower to St Paul's, that 
he might be publicly recognized by the citizens ; and took him with him to 
the palace of Shene, where he conversed daily with the noblemen and others 
who visited the court This prudent measure satisfied the people of England. 
They laughed at the imposture in Ireland, whilst the Irish maintained that 
theirs was the real, and that the boy at Shene was the pretended Plantagenet. 
The rebels now resolved to make an attempt on England, and the Earl of 
Lincoln being appointed commander in chief, landed with an army of 8,000 
Gennan and Irish troops, at the Pile of Foudray, in Lancashire. At Swart- 
more, near Ulverstone, the rebels were joined by the tenantry of Sir Thomas 
Broughton, and here the impostor was again proclaimed. The Earl expected 
that the people of the north would rise and join him as he marched along, 
but in this he was disappointed, but not dismayed, lor he resolved to march 
directly towards the King and give him battle. They now commenced their 
march towards York, after sending a letter addressed to the Lord Mayor and 
Corporation of that city, commanding that lodgings, victuals, &c., should be 
provided for them. This was immediately communicated to Henry, who 
without delay proceeded to York, where an attempt was made to seize his 
person whilst he was solemnizing the festival of St Ge<»^, and it certainly 
would have been successful had not the Earl of Northumberland rescued him. 
This rebellion was not repressed until an obstinate contest took place at 
the village of Stoke, within a few miles of Newark, on the 6th of June, 1487. 

• Baeon, 14, 15. Polydor, 668. 


Daring the space of three hours the victoij was doubtful, but at length the 
rebels were entirely routed with a loss of half their number ; and the Earl of 
Lincoln, Sir Thomas Broughton, and most of the other leaders, were slain 
on the field of battle,* Several of the principal insurgents were afterwards 
banged upon a gibbet at Yorkf Simons and his pupil surrendered to one of 
the King's esquires. The priest was made to confess the imposture, and then 
thrown into prison, in which he perished ; but the pretended Edward VI. 
obtained his pardon, was made a scullion in the royal kitchen, and after- 
wards, in reward of his good conduct, was raised to the office of falconer. 

The real object of this most serio-comic proceeding must for ever remain a 
mystery. There is no doubt of its having been a deeply laid plot to annoy 
if not to dethrone the King, on the part of the adherents of the house of 
York. But why personate a prince who was still living, and who might any 
day be confronted with the impostor? The Eail of Lincdn had seen and 
convened with the real Earl of Warwick at Shene ; and the Earl of KiUare 
and many others were doubtless in the secret. Several reasons have been 
assigned for these strange proceedings, but " the least improbable is," writes 
Dr. liingaid, " that which supposes that the finamers of the plot designed, if 
it succeeded, to place the real Warwick on the throne ; but that, sensible how 
much they should endanger his life, if they were to proclaim him while he 
was in the Tower, they set up a counterfeit Warwick, and by this conlrivanoe 
made it the interest of Henry to pi>Bserve the true one."| 

In the Parliament hdd in the fourth year of this reign, the King was 
granted a subsidy for carrying on the war in Bretagne. This land tax was 
found so heavy in this part of the kingdom, that the people of Yorkshire and 
Durham refused to pay it The Earl of Northumberland, then Lord Lieu- 
tenant* wrote to inform the King of the discontent, and praying an abate- 
menty but that avaricious monarch would not abate a penny. The message 
being dalivedred by the Ea3:l with too little caution, to the inflammable popu- 
bwob who had assembled in a tumultuous nuumer around his house^ at Cook 
Lodges near Thirak, to complain of the grievance; the incensed rabble, 
supposing him to be one of the chief advisers of that measure, immediately 
broke into the house, and murdered the unfortunate Earl with many of his 
8crvants.§ This sad catastrophe ocoorred on the feast of St Vitalis the 
Mar^, A^ril SSth, 1489. Thus perished Henry Percy, the fourth Eaxl of 

• BipiD, vol i, 19. 606, 660. Hall, fid. 6. Baosn, 666, 667. HoUinahed, p. 1461, Ae. 

t Hist CnqrLoonld. 
t Hirt. Bag., vol. v., p. 666, Ufp. 8vo. I DugJale's Baroniffe. 


NorthomberlAtid) a most exemplary nobleman, and one who enjoyed a high 
degree of popular fieiTOur. How truly has a witty writer said lately, that 
" popularity is a popular error." The murdered Earl was buried at Beverly 
Minster, with great pomp and ceremony. But the matter ended not here ; 
for being inflamed by one John ^ Chambre, a man of mean extraction, but 
who was much esteemed by the common people, they chose for their leader 
Sir John Egremont, and openly erected the standard of rebellion, declaring 
their intention of marching against Henry himself. His Miyesty hearing of 
this insurrection, sent Thomas, Earl of Surrey, with a competent force, to 
repress the rebels. The Earl defeated them, and John k Chambre, and 
several of his adherents, were executed at York, with great solemnity ; the 
former on a gallows of extraordinary height, and the others were suspended 
around him. The rest of the malcontents dispersed, while Sir John Egre- 
mont was fortunate enough to escape into Flanders, where he obtained 
protection from Margaret, Duchess of Burgundy. Henry, on this occasion, 
visited York, in order to pacify that cify aod county ; he appointed the Earl 
of Surrey, President of the North, and Sir Richard Tunstal, his chief com- 
missioner, to levy the tax without any abatement. The firm conduct of the 
King so damped the spirits of the northern malcontents, that, in all the 
future rebellions during his reign, they approved themselves fedthful and 
loyal subjects. 

One would have imagined that from the ill success of Simnel*s imposture 
few would be willing to embark in another of a similar kind ; but this was 
indeed a reign of plots, treasons, insurrections, impostures, and executions, 
though no prince ever loved peace more than Henry did. The old Duchess 
of Burgundy, the fomenter and promoter of the King Simnel enterprise, 
procured a report to be spread that the young Duke of York, said to have 
been murdered in the Tower by command of Richard m., was still living. 
This rumour being greedily received — ^the English being ever ready to give 
credit to absurdities — a young man about twenty years of age, of handsome 
features, graceful air, easy manners, courtly address, and elegant conversation, 
was landed at the Cove of Cork, from a merchant trading vessel from Lisbon. 
It was soon whispered about that the mysterious stranger was, Richard 
Duke of York, the second son of Edward IV. The English settlers in Ire- 
land were warmly attached to the house of York, and hence has that country 
been selected as the theatre upon which was to be performed the first act in 
the exploits of this pretender, as well as the opening scene of the Simnel 
£urce. After the Earl of Desmond and the citizens of Cork had declared in 
his fitvour, he accepted an invitation from the ministers of Charles m. to 


visit France, and place himself under the protection of that monarch. For 
some time he was treated by Charles as the real Doke of York, and heir to 
the English throne; and for his greater security, a guard of honour was 
allotted to him. 

Leaying France, we find him under the protection of the Duchess of 
Bui^ndy, who received him with joy, appointed him a guard of thirty hal- 
berdiers, and gave him the surname of " The White Rose of England." Her 
conduct alarmed Henry, and revived the hopes of his enemies. Could the 
aunt, it was asked, be deceived as to the identity of her nephew, or could she 
countenance an impostor? Henry spared neither pains nor expense to 
unravel the mystery; and the Yorkists were equally active. The royal 
emissaries reported that the impostor was the son of a converted Jew, who 
had been over to England in the reign of Edward IV. ; that he was a native 
of the city of Toumay, and that his real name was Perkin Warbeck. Sir 
Robert Clifford, the secret agent of the Y^orkists, had seen ^* the white rose," 
and had heard from himself, and from his aunt, the history of his adventures ; 
and he assured his employers in England, that the claim of the new Duke of 
York was indisputable. The spies of Henry discovered the English partisans 
of the pretender, and in one day Lord Fitzwalter, Sir Simon Montford, Sir 
Thomas Thwaites, several clergymen, and others, were apprehended on the 
charge of high treason. Their correspondence with the friends of the pre- 
tender in Flanders was considered a sufficient proof of their guilt ; and all 
received judgment of death. Some of them suffered immediately, and the 
rest were pardoned. Sir William Stanley too, Henry *s Lord Chamberlain, 
was convicted of the same crime, and decapitated. 

Three years had now elapsed since the pretender first set forth his claim ; 
and yet he had never made any attempt to establish it by legal proof, or to 
enforce it by an appeal to the sword. At length he sailed from the coast of 
Flandere, with a few hundreds of adventurers attached to his fortunes, and 
made an unsuccessful descent in the neighbourhood of Deal. The inhabitants 
attacked the invaders, made 169 prisoners, and drove the remainder into their 
boats. All the captives were hanged, by order of Henry. Warbeck then 
sailed to Lreland, and with the aid of tlie Eari of Desmond, laid siege to 
Waterford. Here again he fiedled, and then returned to Flanders. Soon 
after he sailed to Cork, but the natives of that '' beautifiil city " refused to 
venture their lives in his service. From Cork he passed to Scotland, and 
was received with great cordiality by James IV., the King of that country, 
who was seduced to believe the story of his birth ; and he carried his con- 
fidence so liur as to give him in marriage his near relation, Lady Catherine 


Gordon, daughter of the Earl of Huntlej. But not content with these 
instances of favour, James resolved to attempt settling him on the throne of 
England. Warbeck had mustered under his standard 1,400 men, outlaws 
from all nations ; to these James added all the forces it was in his power to 
raise ; and the combined army crossed the border. Thej were preceded by 
a proclamation, in which the pretender was styled " Richard, by the grace of 
God, King of England and France, Lord of Ireland, and Prince of Wales." 
But the proclamation had no effect. It was expected that the country would 
rise, when called upon ; but the adventurer's pretensions were now become 
stale — the novelty of the thing had worn away — and not a sword was un- 
sheathed in favour of the white rose. The Scots, to repay themselves, pillaged 
the country without mercy, and returned, laden with spoils, to their homes. 
We soon after find this restless adventurer, under the title of Bichard IV., 
at the head of 6,000 of the men of Cornwall, before the gates of Exeter, 
where failure marked his progress. At Taunton he perceived the approach 
of the royal army, commanded by the Lord Chamberlain and Lord Brooke ; 
and at midnight, leaving his followers to their fate, he rode away with a guard 
of sixty men to the sanctuary of Beaulieu, in Hampshire. In the morning 
the insurgents submitted to the royal mercy, and the ringleaders were hanged. 
Upon receiving a promise that liis life should be spared, Warbeck surrendered 
himself to the King, who ordered him to be confined vnthin the precincts of 
the palace. 

Having grown weary of confinement in the palace, he, at the end of six 
months, attempted to escape, but failed ; and for this he was placed in the 
stocks at Westminster and Cheapside, and then committed to the Tower. 
The real Earl of Warwick, and the pretended Duke of York, were now fellow- 
prisoners in the Tower. They soon contracted a mutual friendship for each 
other. Warbeck and he entered into a conspiracy, with four of the warders, 
to murder the governor, effect their escape, and make another attempt to seize 
the crown. This plot being discovered, they were both brought to trial, con- 
demned, and executed. Whilst Warbeck and Warwick were plotting in the 
Tower, a person of the name of Halph Wulford attempted to personate the 
young Prince, but he was soon apprehended, and he paid with his life the 
forfeit of his temerity. 

The Princess Margaret, Henry's eldest daughter, a beautiful girl in her 
18th year, when on a journey into Scotland, in order to consummate her 
marriage with James IV., visited York, on the 14th July, 1503, accompanied 
by a train of 600 lords and ladies. On this occasion the citizens testified 
their loyalty to Heniy by paying her the most marked attention. The 


Sheriff, attended bj about 100 lords, ladies, and gentlemen, on horseback, 
met her at Tadcaster Bridge, and the cavalcade proceeded till it amved 
within a mile of the citj. '* So great were the preparations within the walls 
of the northern metropolis," writes Miss Strickland, in her Lives of the 
Queens of England, <' that she found it necessary to change her dress ; for 
which purpose she retired to her litter, where, assisted by her tirewomen, she 
performed her toilette bj the wayside. All her ladies and maidens likewise 
refreshed their habiliments, and when they considered themselves sufficiently 
brightened and cleansed from the dust and stains of travel, York gates were 
opened, and a grand procession of civH magnates and gallant Yorkshire 
oavaliers poured forth to meet and welcome the royal train. The citizens 
were headed by the Lord Mayor of York and the chivalry of the Earl of 
Northumberland. In fair order did Queen Margaret enter York, her min- 
strels singing, her trumpets and sackbuts playing, and the high woods 
resounding, banners and bandroles waving ; coats of arms unrolled to the 
light of the sun setting ; rich maces in hand, and brave horsemen curvetting 
and bounding. York was crowded with the gentry from the East and West 
Ridings. My Lord of Northumberland and my Lord Mayor did their best 
to make Queen Margaret*s reception expensive and splendid, but as they did 
not produce any striking variation in their pageantry, it need not be dwelt 
upon. The young Queen was received in the palace of the Archbishop of 
York, after her fatiguing day was done. In the morning, that prelate led 
her to high mass in York Minster. Margaret was gloriously attired in cloth 
of gold on this occasion, her gown being belted with a precious girdle studded 
with coloured gems ; the ends of her belt himg down to the ground ; her 
necklace was very splendid, full of orient stones. As she went from the 
palace to the Minster, the Countess of Surrey bore her train, and after them 
followed her ladies, all very richly attired, in goodly gowns tied with great 
gold chains or girdle belts, with the ends hanging down to the earth. When 
mass was done. Queen Margaret gave reception in the great ante-room of the 
Archbishop's Palace, holding a drawing-room, as it would be called in modem 
phraseology. Here, my lady, the Countess of Northiunberland was pre- 
sented to her, being weU accompanied with knights and gentlemen. The 
young Queen of Scotland kissed her for the welcoming she gave her." Mar- 
garet remained at York from Saturday till Monday, and was presented with 
a silver cup ornamented with gold. Upon taking leave of the Corporation, 
when she reached Clifton, on her journey northward, she made the following 
coarteous but laconic speech ; " My Lord Mayor, your brethren, and all the 
whole city of York, I shall evermore endeavour to love you, and this city, as 


long as life itself." York was the second of the ten staple towns which 
Heniy VU. established in England, with a view to the promotion of trade. 
These ten towns were endowed with peculiar commercial privileges, as marts 
where foreigners might find the commodities of the country in abundance. 
During the remainder of the reign of this monarch the annals of York 
contain no important transaction. 

In 1509, Henry VIII., then only sixteen years of age, succeeded to the 
throne on the death of his father. In the course of this year, or, according 
to some authorities, in 1507, Hugo Bois, or Goes, the son of an ingeniooB 
printer at Antwerp, established a printing press at York, being shortly after 
the invention of printing, and contemporaneous with Wynkyn de Worde. 
According to some, Bois had his press in the Minster yard, in or near St 
William*8 College, on the same site upon which the royal printing presses 
were erected in 164d, whilst Charles I. was at York ; but other accounts 
state that Bois's press stood in Stonegate, in the house known as Mulberry 
or Mowbray Hall. 

William Caxton, a London merchant, who had attached himself to the 
service of Margaret, Countess of Richmond, mother of King Henry VU., and 
had travelled much on the continent of Europe, first introduced the art of 
printing into England, about the year 1474.* By the desire of his illustrious 
patroness, Caxton contrived to make himself acquainted with the mechanism 
of the art in Germany ; from which country he returned to England, pro 
\ided with types, presses, &c,, which he erected in one of the chapels within 
Westminster Abbey (encouraged by Thomas Milling, the then Abbot), sup- 
posed by some to be the almonry, and there be produced the first specimen 
of English typography. The " Game and Play of Chesse " was printed in 
that year, and was the first book ever printed in these kingdoms. In a few 
years after, the "mystery of printing," as it was then called, was introduced 
into Oxford and St. Albans. The first specimen of Oxford workmanship ia 
dated 1478, and the first book printed at St. Albans is dated 1480. York, 
as we have seen, procured itself the advantage of the press in 1507 or 1500 ; 
Cambridge in 1521 ; Tavistock in 1535 ; and Canterbury and other towns, 
at periods considerably later. The press made very little progress in England 
during the latter end of the 15 th and nearly the whole of the 16tk century. 
The first complete version of the Bible was published on the 4th of October, 

• Caxton died in 1491, and was buried in St. Margaret's ehuroh, Weatminster. 


York and the Ainsty contributed 500 men to the army that fought against 
the Scots, under the Earl of Surrey, and gained the memorable yictory of 
Flodden Field, on the 9th of September, 1618. In this battle James lY., 
King of Scotland, Henry's brother-in-law, was slain. His body was conveyed 
to York, and there exposed to public view, till Henry's return from France, 
when it was presented to him at Richmond, in Surrey. 

In 1581 the city of York obtained an Act of Parliament " for amending 
the rivers Ouse and Humber, and for pulling down and avoiding of fish- 
garths, piles, stakes, and other things set in the said rivers." Previous to 
this year there were fish-garths in these rivers, which were so injurious to 
the tnule of York, by preventing the free passage of ships to that city, that 
the Lord Mayor and commonalty petitioned Parliament for this Act, for the 
removal of the obstructions. 

In the d4th of this reign (1588), the price of provisions was fixed, as fol- 
lows :-^beef and pork, at a halfpenny a pound ; veal and mutton, at a half- 
penny and half a farthing > hens, a penny each ; geese, two-pence each ; 
butter, sixpence a stone ; and cheese, eighteen-pence a stone ; with all other 
articles in proportion. The shilling of that day was worth about five times 
that sum in our present money. 

The suppression of the monasteries, which commenced in 1585, excited a 
great sensation in Yorkshire, and all throughout the northern counties. 
Before this period, the King was a disputant on tenets of religion, with 
Martin Luther, having written a book of controversy, still extant, entitled 
" A Defence of the Seven Sacraments, by King Henry VLLL. ;" for the merit 
of which the Pope and Sacred College granted him the distinguished title of 
King Defender of the Faiths — " Rex Fidei Defensor." Thus it is clear that 
Henry was originally a strenuous advocate of the Catholic church ; but the 
Pope's refusal to grant him a divorce from his lawful wife, Catherine, excited 
hie ire to such a pitch, that he resolved to try whether Acts of Parliament 
did not possess the talismanic power of deputing or constituting himself head 
of the church, instead of the Pope. Accordingly, in 1582, an Act was passed 
for extinguishing the payment of Annates, or first-fruits to the see of Rome, 
and was followed by another statute, prohibiting the Pope from interfering 
in the nomination of Bishops; and the Pai*liament, which met in 1584, 
ratified and established the King's claim of Supreme Head of the Church. 
Acts were also passed for taking away the benefit of sanctuary ; for giving 
the first-fruits to the King, and for making a provision for suffragan Bishops. 
Having now proved the flexibility of his Parliament, and being either aware 
that his revenues were not adequate to gratify his insatiable propensity for 


diversions, feastiag, gaining, and public shows ; or, prompted by inordinate 
avarice, he next turned his thoughts to the religious and charitable institu- 
tions of the country, and first obtained an Act for the suppression of the 
smaller monasteries.':' He afterwards ordered Articles of AlteratUms in Ba- 
Ugioua Doctrines to be exhibited, and they were signed by 18 Bishops, 40 
Abbots and Priors, 7 Deans, 17 Proctors, and 1 Master of a College. Most 
of the larger monasteries were dissolved in 1540, and surrendered to the 
King ; and thus the foundations, made by the piety and wisdom of our fore- 
fiithers, for the benefit of religion, learning, and the reUef of the poor, lost 
the stability of their settlements, and were laid at the mercy of a cruel, disso- 
lute, and licentious monarch ; the " only Prince in modem times who carried 
judicial murder into his bed, and imbrued his hands in the blood of those he 
caressed."! No one surely can suppose that in Henry's newly-acquired taste 
for sacrilege and church ^plunder, he had any regard for rehgion or Ghod's 
honour ;| for, as Bishop Fisher truly said, " it is not so much the good as 
the goods of the church, that he looked after." And although the confiscation 
was a deserved vengeance, if the gifts of the pious founders were being 
abused, yet it ** was an mcrease of guilt in the King and Parliament, who, 
by not preventing the abuse, had made themselves the sin." 

In the reign of Henry V., York contained, besides the Cathedral, forty-one 
parish churches, seventeen chapels, sixteen hospitals, and nine monasteries, 
or convents, consequently the suppression of the religious houses inflicted a 
terrible blow on the grandeur of that city. '*It cannot be denied," ob- 
serves Drake, " that after the dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry 
Vm., with the chantries, chapels, hospitals, and other houses, for the 

* Bishop Tanner, Notit., p. 23, says, that the Act for the suppression of the lesser 
monasteries was passed about March, 1535. Spelman, in his Histoiy of Sacrilege, p. 
183, tells us, that the bill stuck long in the House of Commons, and would not pass, till 
the King sent for the members of that house, and told them he would have the bill 
pass, or have some of their heads. 

t Mc'Intosh's History of England. 

I ** Men gave their lands, as they declared in the deed of gift, ' for the glory of God,' 
and they charged what they so gave with the maintenance of masses ; if reformation had 
been desired, this condition would have been repealed ; but this would not have gorged 
that flfttal covetousness, which, by confiscating the endowments, ran headlong into the 
guilt of sacrilege. But again, was all the confiscated property of the nature above 
described? Our own experience can answer. Were the tithes (now impropriated) of 
much more than half the parishes of England, given to superstitious uses ? Were the 
glebe lands, and glebe houses, of our poor vicarages (now in the hands of laymen), 
superstitious and unholy things 7 This part at least of the spoil was taken strictly fhxm 
the clergy."— ^Tiffter/orw. 


sustenance of the poor, that this famous, and then flourishing city received a 
terrible shock, by the tearing up of those foundations. No sooner was this 
mandate given here, but down fell the monasteries, the hospitals, chapels, 
and priories in this city, and with them, for company I suppose, eighteen 
parish churches, the materials and revenues of all being converted to secular 

" The dissolution of the religious houses in England is one of the most 
important events recorded in our national history," writes Mr. G. S. Phillips,f 
in his OtUde to Peterborough Cathedral. ''It changed the whole aspect of civil 
and ecclesiastical affairs, and produced an entire revolution in the scheme of 
l^slation. Those institutions, which had prospered in our island for cen- 
turies, were all rooted up and destroyed, and that too by the imperious fiat of 
a monster, — ^second to none in infamy, cruelty, and crime. With a heart 
brutalized by sensuality, — ^with feelings unacquainted with the common 
sympathies of our nature, — and with passions unaccustomed to controul, — 
Henry VIII. ascended the throne of England, a fit instrument for the perse- 
cutions and horrors which he accomplished. He was brought up a Catholic, 
and originally destined for the Boman church. When he ascended the 
throne, he marri^ Catherine of Arragon, who was the reputed widow of his 
brother Arthur. This event was hailed with joy by the people, and was 
sanctioned by the papal authority. The reader will bear in mind the fact of 
this marriage, as it was one of the chief causes of the revolutions which 
we have just mentioned. The person whom Henry appointed his Prime 
Minister was Wolsey, a man of low origin, but possessed of extraordinary 
talent, which gave him immense influence with his Sovereign. It was he 
who directed the movements of the whole machinery of the state ; and being 
made a Cardinal by the Pope, exercised little less than absolute authority 
over the religion of the country. The pomp and splendour of his retinue was 
equal, if not superior, to that of the King. He held in his hands the des- 
tinies of all the nobles by whom he was surrounded ; — ^his word was £Bite ; — 
his will, law. It cannot be surprising, then, that a Catholic, possessed of 
such vast influence, should have been the stay and bulwark of his religion; 
and it is very probable that if Wolsey had never lived, Catholicism would 
have had a shorter duration than it obtained in the reign of Henry; for men*s 
actions are always obedient to the circumstances in which they are placed, 
as the conduct of Henry will sufficiently testify. 

• Eboracom, p. 286. 

f Author of the Hfe of Wordtwarth, &c., and at present Lecturer to the Yorkshire 
Union of Mechanics' Institutes. 


Hitherto then we perceive that Heniy and Catholicism were at peace. He 
was not yet placed in that situation which afterwards made him declare war 
against it. The continental Reformers only excited his destructiveness, and 
Luther*s writings, which were making their way into England with an 
astonishing rapidity, caused him to write a hook against the new doctrines 
which Luther taught and promulgated. All these circimistances then were 
working in favour of the Catholic rehgion: but the time was soon to 
come, when more powerful influences were to operate upon the King, and 
stronger motives were to direct his movements. Queen Catherine, who had 
heen married to Henry a great number of years, at length displeased him ; 
and he affected to have, at this remote period, such strong compunctions 
about his marriage with her, on account of her being his brother s widow, 
that nothing but a divorce could make him happy. The secret cause, how- 
ever, of this sudden change, was discovered in his affection for Anne Boleyn. 
In order to obtain the divorce, he applied to the Pope, who refusing to grant 
it, Henry appealed to the Universities as a last resource, and they declared 
his marriage with Catherine illegal. During this debate about the l^ality 
of the marriage, sprung up Cranmer, the most weak, cruel, and bigoted of 
Henry *s accompHces. It was he who divorced the Queen, and for this ser- 
vice he was soon after appointed arbiter of civil and religious affairs. Wolsey 
feU from power with the Queen ; for not daring to offend the Pope, and 
relying on his influence with his Sovereign, he overreached himsdf, by 
tampering with the King too long, — and ultimately fell a victim to his own 
subtilty. Thus the principal support of the Catholic rehgion was lopped 
away, and the King having been excommunicated by the Pope, set his 
threats at defiance, — ^made a new creed for his subjects, and ordered Cranmer 
to bum and destroy all who did not immediately become converts to it. He 
finally threw off all submission to the Pope, and resolving to show how little 
he regard^ his authority, he broke up all the monastic institutions of the 
country, — ^robbed them of their wealth, — and put most of the monks to 

The Rev. John Tickell, in his History of Kingstofi'Upon-HtiU,* says, '*The 
Monks were historians, the Abbots excellent landlords ; and in general they 
were remarkable for an universal hospitality. In order, however, that the 
suppression of the monasteries might be received with less concern, Heniy 
made use of an artifice. He caused a report to be spread,! that the kingdom 
was going to be invaded by several Princes, at the instigation of the Pope 

• pp. 180, 181. f Stowe, p. ^76. 


and Cardinal Pole ; and he confirmed this report, by going in person to visit 
the coasts, and commanding forts and redoubts to be erected in several places. 
He likewise gave strict orders to fit out a strong fleet, and keep the troops in 
readiness to march upon the first notice."*^ The King's intent, in all these 
proceedings, was to convince the people that the Parliament would be obliged 
to levy heavy taxes to resist the pretended invasion ; but that he, acquiiing 
a large revenue by the suppression of the monasteries, would have no occasion 
for such subsidies."! 

The supporters of the confiscation painted, in most attractive colours, the 
advantages of the bill, which vested in the crown " all the property, moveable 
and immoveable, of the monastic establishments which either had already 
been, or should hereaffcer be, suppressed, abolished, or surrendered." The 
social condition of England was to undergo a vast transformation — ^pauperism 
and taxation were to terminate — ^fiiture wars would be waged without any 
additional burthens on the nation, and aU apprehensions of danger from 
foreign hostility or internal discontent were to cease. How the future re- 
alized the hopes of the royal parasites, except in enriching them at the 
expense of the monasteries, history can tell. Pauperism soon flooded tbe 
oountiy ; and the King, as we shall see, instead of diminishing the national 
burthens, demanded compensation for the expenses he incurred in the re- 
formation of religion ! Within twelve months after the religious houses were 
despoiled he wrested two subsidies from Parliament. How the property of 
the monasteries was spent we have accounts in the chroniclers of the day. 
According to Bale, an ardent Eeformer, " a great part of this treasure was 
tamed to the upholding of dice playing, masking, and banqueting — ^yea," he 

continues, " I would I could not by just occasion speak it — ^bribing, wh , 

and swearing." 

The annual rents of the 380 lesser establishments, which were dissolved 
in 1585, amounted to £32,000. ; and the goods, lands, plate, <i^., belonging to 
these houses, were valued at £100,000., but are said to have been worth three 
times that sum. By the suppression of the greater monasteries, in 1540, tbe 
King gained a revenue of more than £100,000. a year, besides large sums in 
plate and jewels. The annual revenue of all the suppressed houses amounted 
to £14d,014. 13s. O^d., about one-and-twentieth part of the whole rental of 
the kingdom, if Hume be correct in taking that rental at three millions, as 
the rents were then valued. Burnet says that they were at least ten times 
as much in real value ; for the Abbots and Priors having some presentiment 

« Bornet Lord Herbert f Stevens' History of Taxes, p. 210. 

2 B 


of the impending stonn, had fixed the yearly rents reiy Iow» and ndaed the 
fines very high, that they might have something to subsist on when they 
should be expelled their houses. Besides the rents of the lands belonging to 
the monasteries, Henry receiyed a considerable sum arising from the church 
ornaments, plate, goods, lead, bells, and other materials, which he thought it 
not proper to have valued at alL 

Lord. Herbert, in his history of this rapacious monarch, tells us that many 
of the visitors appointed to examine into the state of the monasteries, 
petitioned the King that some few of them might be su£fered to remain 
for the benefit of the country at huge ; the poor receiving from them great 
relief^ and the rich good education for their children ; and Bishop Latimer 
also earnestly entreated that, at least, two or three might be left standing 
in every county, to be nurseries for charity, learning, preaching, study, and 
prayer. But Cromwell, by the King's directions, invaded all, nor could he 
be prevailed upon to leave one of them standing. Notwithstanding the 
immense riches which Heniy had obtained from the suppressed Abbeys, 
Friaries, Nunneries, and Monasteries, and which he pretended was not to be 
converted to private uses, but to fill his exchequer and relieve his suljects, 
who were led to believe that they should never hereafter be charged with 
subsidies, fifteenths, loans, or other aids ; yet his illgotten wealth was very 
soon lavished away, and the exchequer being reduced, he demanded subsidies 
both of the clergy and laity. Accordingly, the Parliament, which sat in 
November, 1545,1' granted him a subsidy of two shillings in the pound, 
and the convocation of the province of Canterbury, granted him a continu- 
ation of a former subsidy ai six shillings in the pound. Besides there were 
yet in the kingdom several Colleges, Free Chapels, Chantries, Hospitals, 
and Fraternities ; and as Henry had demanded a subsidy, this obsequious 
Parliament, apprehensive that further demands might be made, very liberally 
and generously gave them ail to him ; with all their sites, buildings, riches, 
lands, possessions, &c., amounting to many thousand pounds a year. After 
his compliant Parliament Jiad granted aU this, Heniy came to the House 
and thanked his fedthful Commons for what they had done, telling them 
** that never King was more blessed than he was ; and at the same time 
he assured them that he should take proper caro for the supplying of the 
ministers, for encouraging learning, and relieving the poor."t The Uni- 
versities, however, it seems, rather suspected him; for they now made 
application to him, that they might not be included in the Act of dissolution 

« Bnmet f Ibid. 



of Colleges and Fraternities; and Dr. Coz, tator to the Prince of Wales, 
irrote to secretary Paget, reqaesting bim to represent to the King the great 
want of schoolsy preachers, and houses for orphans; ''that there were 
TavenoQS wolyes about his Migesty, which would devour Uniyersities, Cathe- 
drals, and Chantries,* and a thousand times as much, so that posterity 
would wonder at such things ; he therefore desired that the Universities, at 
leasti might be secured from their spoils.**! These solicitations produced 
the desired effect; for Henry, by confirming the ancient rights of the 
Universities, dispelled their fears, and assured them that their revenues 
should remain untouched. By way of atonement for the havoc made in the 
religious houses, in coigunction with other motives, partaking more of policy 
than retribution, Henry erected six Bishops* Sees, on the ruin of as many of 
the most opulent monasteries, and appropriated a part of their revenues to the 
maintenance of the new prelates. But even these were at first so scantily 
endowed, that the new prelates for some years ei\joyed little more than a 
nominal income.^ 

To soften the odium of these measures, much has been said of the immo- 
rality piaetisedt or supposed to be practised, within the monasteries. " It is 
not in human nature,** writes Dr. Lingard, " that in numerous societies of 
men, aU should be equally virtuous. The monks of difierent descriptions 
amounted to many thousands ; and in such a multitude there must have 
existed individuals, whose conduct was a disgrace to their profession. But 
when this has been conceded on the one hand, it ought to be admitted on the 
other, that the charges against them are entitled to very little credit They 
were ex parte statements, to which the accused had no opportunity of replying, 
and were made to silence enquiiy, and sanctify injustice. Of the com- 

* It ma the eoitom, in andent times, for Lords 6f manors, and persons of wealth 
and importaxiee, to build small ohapels or side aisles to their parish churches, dedicated 
in honour of some ftTonrite saint, and these were endowed with lands sufficient for the 
maintfinanoe of one or more ehantors or priests, who were to sing masses at the altar 
araoted therein, tasr the soul of the founder and those of his ancestors and posterity; 
these chantiy chapels senred also as a borial place for the founder and his fiunilj. 
There were frequently many chantries in one church, and they were generally separated 
from the rest of the church by a screen. Fuller says, " Chantries were A^ecHve$, not 
able to stud by themselves, and therefore united, for their better support, to some pa- 
foehial, ooUegittte, or cathedral church.'* Before the Beformation, much of the property 
of the UniTersities was held on the condition of the performance of chantry services. 

Free Chapelt, though endowed for the same use and service as chantries, were inde- 
pendent of any church or other eodeeSastieal edifice. " They had more room for 
priests," says Fuller, " and more priests for that room." 

t Burnet { Jonmals, 113. Stiype, 1. Bee, 270. Hjmeir, ziv., 700, 710, Ac. 


missioners, some were not yexy immaculate characters themselves ; all were 
stimulated to invent and exa^erate, both by the known rapacity of the Eing» 
and by their own prospects of personal interest, "'i' 

Mr. Thorn, in a small work called Bambles hy Bivert, says, ** There can 
be little question that at the Reformation the monks had become more open 
to censure than at any previous period. It is impossible to read the notices 
of them that occur in writers of all descriptions without feeling this. Nor 
can it perhaps be said that there was not need for some great change at the 
time of the dissolution of monasteries. But in palliation of that measure 
nothing can be said. It is the largest, coarsest, and most unprovoked robbery 
that monarch ever committed on his subjects. Every reason put forward to 
justify it was a plain untruth. From the beginning to the end, every step 
taken was equally vile. Sometimes the detestable evidence, accumulated by 
Henry's commissioners, is adduced in his favour ; but those commissioners 
were the greatest scoundrels in this country, excepting their master." 

The suppression of the religious institutions, and the appropriation of the 
property of the church and the patrimony of the poor to ''the King's 
Majesty's use ;" the turning out of so many priests, monks, nuns, sick and 
aged people, to starve, or beg their bread, so exasperated the people of the 
northern counties, who retained a strong attachment to the ancient doctrines, 
that in 1536 a large multitude rose in open rebellion, and demanded the 
redress of these grievances; that is, the re-establishment of the Catholic 
religion, and the monastic institutions. The first who appeared in arms 
were the men of Lincolnshire, under the guidance of Dr. Makerel, Prior of 
Burlings, who had assumed the name of Captain Cobler; and so formidable 
was their force, that the Duke of Suffolk, the royal commander, deemed it 
more prudent to negociate than to fight In the five other counties, the 
insurrection had assumed a more formidable appearance. From the borders 
of Scotland to the Humber, the inhabitants had generally bound themselves 
by oath to stand by each other. 

Nor was the insurrection long confined to the common people. Bapin and 
others tell us that the nobility and gentry, the former patrons of the dis- 
solved houses, had joined the standard of revolt.! The Archbishop of York, 
the Lords Neville, D*Arcy, Lumley, and Latimer; Sir Robert Constable, Sir 
John Buhner, Sir Stephen Hamilton, Sir Thomas Percy, brother of the Earl 
of Northumberland, and many other Knights and gentlemen of the north, 
were amongst the insurgents. The real leaders seem not to have been 

« Hist. Kng., voL vi., p. 266, fcp. 8vo. f Bapin, vol. i., p. 815. 


known, but the rebels, amounting in number to upwards of 40,000 men, 
were under the nominal command of Bichard or Robert Aske, of Aughton, a 
gentleman of considerable fortune and influence in Yorkshire ; and the enter- 
prise was quaintly termed the Pilgrimage of Oracs. The oath taken by the 
" Pilgrims " was, « that they should enter into this pilgrimage for the love 
which they bore to Almighty God, his fiuth, the holy church, and the nudn- 
tanance thereof; the preservation of the Kings person and issue; the 
purifying of the nobility, and expulsion of villein blood and evil counsellors 
from his grace and privy council ; not for any private profit, nor to do dis- 
pleasure to any i^ivate person, nor to slay or murder through envy, but to 
put away all lears, and to take afore them the Cross of Christ, his fiEdth, and 
the restitution of the churoh, and the suppression of heretics and their 
opLoions." On their banners were painted the Crucifixion of our Saviour, 
and the chalice and host, the emblems of their belief. A number of ecclesi- 
astics marched at the head of the, army, in the habits of their order, carrying 
crosses in their hands, and wearing on their sleeves an emblem of the five 
wounds of Christ, with the name of Jesus wrought in the middle. Wherever 
the pilgrims appeared, the ^ected monks were placed in their monasteries, 
and the inhabitants were compelled to take the oath, and to join the army. 
Henry immediately issued commissions to several Lords to levy troops, but 
from the backwardness of the people, the army was not sufficiently strong to 
oppose the insurgents. Aske, in the meantime, did not remain iaactive. He 
divided his army into separate divisions — one of which took possession of 
Pontefinct Castle, whilst another division made themselves masters of the 
city of York ; and a third, under the command of one Hallam, took Hull by 
surprise. The strong castles of Skipton and Scarborough were preserved 
by the courage and loyalty of the garrisons, l^e King issued a proclamation, 
in which he told the rebels that they ought no more to pretend to give judg- 
ment with regard to government, than a bliad man with regard to colours : 
— " And we," he added, ** with our whole council, think it right strange that 
ye, who are but brutes, and inexpert folks, do take upon you to appoint us, 
who be meet or not for our council." 

Aske, at the head of 80,000 men, then hastened to obtain possession of 
Doncaster. The Earl of Shrewsbury, though without any commission, 
armed his tenantiy, and threw himself into the town ; he was soon joined by 
the Duke of Norfolk, the King's lieutenant, with a small army of 6,000 men, 
and a battery of cannon was erected to protect the bridge. The Duke en- 
camped near Doncaster, and entered into a negotiation with the rebels, who 
had taken their stand at Scawsby Leas. On the dOth of October, 1536, the 


Duke sent a herald with a proclamation to the insurgents ; Aske, sitting in 
state, with the Archbishop of York on the one hand, and Lord D'Aroy on the 
other, gave the herald an audience, but on hearing the contents of the pro- 
clamation, he refused to allow it to be published to the army. Henry, who 
was now greatly alarmed, issued a proclamation, commanding all the nobility 
to meet hiTn at Northampton. Meanwhile the insurgents advanced towards 
the detachment commanded by the Duke of Norfolk, which was stationed to 
defend the bridge which formed the pass between the two armies.* A most 
fortunate circumstance for the King occurred at this juncture, the river Don, 
which was fordable in several places, was now so swollen by a heavy rain 
that it was impossible to effect a passage over it ; had it been otherwise, the 
royal army must have been defeated ; though, under the circumstances, it is 
impossible to say what might have been the consequence, for the Duke, 
though entrusted with the command of the forces of the King, was averse to 
the alterations made in religion, and it could not, therefore, be agreeable to 
him to oppose men who were defending a cause which he secretly approved. 

During these protracted negotiations, the King was enabled to strengthen 
his army, which so alarmed many of the rebeb, that they, suspecting 
they were betrayed by their leaders, withdrew themselves from the cause. 
Wearied at length by the delays in the negotiation, the main body of the 
rebels, which still remained in their camp, resolved to renew hostilities, and 
to attack the royal army at Doncaster ; but this, however, was prevented by 
another violent rain, which rendered the river impassable. 

Henry now sent a general pardon for the insuigents who should lay down 
their arms, excepting only ten persons, six of whom were named, and four 
not named. This offer was r^ected, and after many delays and tedious 
negotiations, the King proposed that the rebels should send deputies to treat 
for peace. This proposal was accepted, and at a conference held at Don- 
caster, on the 6th of December, the deputies made the following demands : — 

1st — That a general pardon should be granted without any exception. 

dnd. — ^That a Parliament should be held at York. 

8rd. — ^That a Court of Justice should be erected there, so that the inhabi- 
tants][of the northern counties should not be brought to London on any 

4th. — That some Acts of the late Parliament, which were too grievous to 
the people, should be repealed. 

5th. — ^That the Princess Mary should be declared legitimate. 

• Bapin, vol. i., p. 815. Hall, 280. Stowe, 674. 



. 6th.— That the Papal authority should be re-established on its former 

7th. — ^That the suppressed monasteries should be restored to their former 

8th. — ^That the Lutherans, and all innovators in religion, should be 
seyerely punished. 

0th. — ^That Thomas, Lord Cromwell; Audley, the Lord Chancellor; and 
Rich, the Attorney General; should be removed from the Council, and 
excluded from the next Parliament. 

10th. — That Lee and Leighton, visitors of the monasteries, should be 
imprisoned, and brought to account for their briberies and extortions.* 

This conference broke up without producing any effect, but the Duke of 
Norfolk advised the King to comply with, at least, some of their demands. 
Henry therefore promised that their grievances should be patiently discussed 
at the next Parliament, which, he agreed, was to be held tit York ; and he 
also offered a general pardon to the rebels. Aske and the other leaders 
accepted the King's offer, and the treaty being concluded, the insurgents 
inmiediately dispersed. But Henry, freed from his apprehensions, neglected 
to redeem his promise, and in less than two months the " Pilgrims " were 
again in arms ; but the Duke of Norfolk, with a more numerous force over- 
powered them, after they had fSedled in two successive attempts to surprise 
Hull and Carlisle. Lord D*Arcy, Eobert Aske, and many other leaders 
were taken, sent to London, and executed.! The Abbots of Fountains, 
Jervaux, and Rivaulx, the Prior of Bridlington, and others, were executed at 
Tyburn ; Sir Bobert Constable was hanged in chains, over Beverley gate, at 
Hull; Aske was suspended from a tower, probably ClifiEbrd*s, at York; 
D'Arpy was beheaded at Tower Hill, in London ; and seventy-four of the 
officers were hung on the walls of Carlisle. The several rebellions which 
occurred in the north having subsided, and the King's anger being satiated 
with the blood of the chief rebeb, he issued out a general pardon to all the 
northern counties, excepting, however, twenty-two persons, most of whom 
were taken, and actually suffered in one place or another. 

Ln the month of August, 1541, Henry, in order to quiet the minds of the 
people, receive their submission, and reconcile them to his government, made 
a progress to the north, accompanied by the Queen. Another motive for this 
journey was, that he proposed to have a conference at York, with his nephew, 

• BiQiin, vol. i, page 816. 
f lingud** Englsnd, voL vi, p. d&7. Fop. 8to. 


James Y., King of Scotland, in order to settle, if possible, a lasting peace."** 
" On his entrance into Yorkshire, he was met with 200 gentlemen of the 
same shire, in coats of velvet, and 4,000 tall yeomen and serving men, well 
horsed, which, on their knees, made submission to him bj the month of Sir 
Bobert Bowes, and gave to the King £900. On Bamsdale, the Archbishop 
of York, with more than 300 priests, met the King, and, making a like sub- 
mission, gave to him £600. The like submission was made by the Majors 
of York, Newcastle, and Hull, and each of them gave the King £100."f 

The Scottish nobility and ecclesiastics doubting the sincerity of Henry, 
prevailed upon James to forego the proposed meeting; and thus disappointed, 
the English monarch, after a sojourn of twelve days, left York abruptly on 
the 39th of September. During his stay at York, he established a President 
and Council in the city, under the great seal of Oyer and Terminer, which 
continued till the reign of Charles I. The first President was Thomas, Duke 
of Norfolk. The power of this court was to hear and determine all causes on 
the north side of the Trent. In the same year. Sir John Neville, knt., and 
ten other persons, were taken in rebellion, and executed at York. 

Soon after the King aboHshed the papal authority in England, the clei^ 
were divided into two opposite factions, denominated the men of the old and 
the new learning. Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, and Lee, Archbishop of 
York, with the Bishops of London, Durham, and Bath and Wells, were at 
the head of the former ; and the leaders of the latter were Cranmer, Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury; Latimer, Bishop of Worcester; and Shaxton and Fox, 
Bishops of Sarum and Hereford. And during the whole of the time, from 
the commencement of the revolt, until the death of the King, the creed of the 
church of England depended on the theological caprice of its supreme head. 
Heniy*s infallibility continually oscillated between the two parties in the 
church. His hostility to the court of Rome led him at times to incline to the 
men of the new learning ; but his attachment to the ancient faith — ^which is 
most manifest throughout the work — quickly brought him back. The leaders 
of both parties, warmly as they might be attached to their own opinions, did 
not aspire to the crown of martyrdom ; they were always ready to suppress, 
or even to abjure, their real sentiments at the command of their wayward and 
imperious master. Both parties carefully studied the inclinations of the 
King, and sought by the most servile submission to win his confidence. In 
1636, the head of the church, with the aid of his theologians, compiled certain 
''Articles," which were ordered to be read to the people in the churches 

• Hume, vol. iy., p. 188. f HolHnshed Cbron., 1682. 



without Any oomment. The book of Articles may be divided into three parts. 
The first declares that the belief in the three Creeds — the Apostles', the 
Nicene, and the Athanasian — is necessary for salvation ; the second explains 
the three great sacraments of Baptism, Penance, and the Holy Eucharist, 
and pronounces them the ordinary means of justification ; and the third 
teaches that, Hiough the use of images, the intercession of saints, and the 
usual ceremonies in the service, have not in themselves the power to remit 
sin, or justify the soul, yet they are highly profitable, and ought to be 
retained. Heniy having, by these Articles, fixed the landmarks of English 
orthodoxy, now ordered the convocation " to set forth a plain and sincere 
exposition of doctrine " for the better information of his subjects. This task 
was accomplished by the publication of a book, entitled, " The godly and 
pious Institution of a Christian Man," — ^a work which was subscribed by all 
the Bishops and dignitaries of the church, and pronounced by them to accord 
"in all things with the true meaning of Scripture." It explains the Creeds, 
the seven Sacraments, which it divides into three of a higher, and four of a 
lower order, the ten Commandments, the Paternoster and Ave Maria, Justi* 
fication, and Purgatory. It denies the supremacy of the Pope, and inculcates 
passive obedienoe to the King ; and that Sovereigns are account^})le to God 
fdone ; and it is chiefly remariiable for the earnestness with which it refuses 
salvation to all persons out of the pale of the Catholic church. By way of 
concession to the men of the new learning, as well as to replenish his coffers, 
the King ordered a number of holidays to be abolished, shrines to be de- 
molished, and superstitious relics to be burnt There is one proceeding in 
connection with this order, which on account of its singularity and absurdity, 
deserves attention. 

In the reign of Henty 11., Thomas k Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, 
sometime Lord High Chancellor of England, and a great champion of the 
rights ot the church, had been murdered in his own Cathedral by four gentle- 
men in the King's service, who mistook for a command a rash expression of 
their master.* The prelate was afterwards canonized by the Pope, and the 

• The Archbishop having frequently given offence to the King, hj oppodng his designs 
upon the rights and property of the church, the King, one day in a tran^ort of fiiiy, 
cried out, and repeated several times, that " he cursed all those whom he had honoured 
with his friendship, and enriched by his bounty, seeing none of them had the oonnge 
to rid him oi one Kshop, who gave him more trouble than all the rest of his subjects." 
Hearing these words, Sir William Tiaoy, Sir Hngh Morville, Sir Bichard Briton, and 
Sir Reginald Fitz-Orson, " who," says Butler, " had no other religion than to flatter their 
Prince,*' conspired privately to murder the Archlashop, and perpetrated the sacrilegious 
act on the 29th of December^ lira 



anniversary of his martyrdom was consecrated to God in honour of the saint. 
It was now suggested to Heniy VILL., that so long as the name of St. Thomas 
of Canterbury should remain in 4he calendar, men would be stimulated by 
his example to brave the ecclesiastical authority of their Sovereign. The 
King's attorney was therefore instructed to exhibit an information against 
*' Thomas Becket, sometime Archbishop of Canterbury ;" and that individual 
was formally cited to appear in court, and answer to the charge. The saint 
having neglected to quit the tomb, in which he had reposed for more than 
three centuries and a half, would have been decided against for default, had 
not the King, by his special grace, assigned him a counsel. The court sat 
at Westminster ; the Attorney-General and the advocate of the accused were 
heard ; and sentence was finally pronounced that Becket had been guilty of 
rebellion, contumacy, and treason ; that his bones should be publicly burnt, 
and that the offerings which had been made at his shrine should be forfeited 
to the crown.'i' The sentence was executed in due form ; and the gold, silver, 
and jewels, the spoils obtained by the demolition of the shrine, were conveyed 
in two ponderous coffers to the royal treasury. A proclamation was after- 
wards published, stating that forasmuch as it now clearly appeared that 
Thomas Becket had been killed in a riot excited by his own obstinacy, and 
had been canonized by the Bishop of Rome, the King's M^esty thought it 
expedient to declare that he was no saint, but rather a rebel and traitor to 
his Prince, and therefore commanded that he should not be esteemed or called 
a saint ; that all images and pictures of him should be destroyed ; the fes- 
tivals in his honour be abolished, and his name and remembrance be erased 
out of all books, under pain of imprisonment.t Henry, like all other Re- 
formers, made his own judgment the standard of orthodoxy ; and he executed 
the laws against those who differed £rom him, tnth equal rigour, both before 
and after his quarrel with the court of Rome. Before that event the teachers 
of Lollardism excited his ire ; and after it he was not less eager to light the 
faggot for the punishment of heresy. A number of German Anabaptists 
landed in England in 1586 ; they were instantly apprehended, and fourteen 
of them, who refused to recant, were condemned to the flames. In 1588 
more missionaries of the same sect followed, and a similar fate was awarded 
to them. Even Henry's own relations and friends were sacrificed on the plea 
of high treason or heresy. Even Cromwell, his Vicar-G^neral and factotum, 
who, by cunning and servility, had raised himself from the shop of a fuller 
to the Earldom of Essex, and the highest seat in the House of Lords, died 
on the scaffold. 

• Wilk. Con., iii, 896-6. f lUd, 641. 


In 1541 the King published dx articles of belief, in the fonn of an Act of 
Parliament. The 1st article declared that in the Blessed Eucharist is really 
present the natural body of Christ, under the forms and without the substance 
of bread and wine. 3nd. That communion under both kinds is not necessary 
ad sdkOem, drd. That priests may not marry by the law of God. 4th. That 
Yows of chastity are to observed. 5th. That private masses ought to be 
retained. And 6th. That the use of auricular confession is expedient and 
necessary. This statute declares that if any person preach, write, or dispute 
against the first article, he shall not be allowed to abjure, but shall suffer 
death as a heretic ; or if he preach, write, or speak openly against any of the 
other fiye, he shall incur the usual penalties of felony. Thus it appears that 
Henry was still opposed to the Lutheran doctrines of Justification by Faith 
alone, &c. By law the Catholic and Protestant were now placed on an equal 
footing, in respect to capital punishment. If to admit the papal supremacy 
was treason, to reject the papal creed was heresy. The one could be expiated 
only by the halter and the knife ; the other led the offender to the stake and 
the faggot. On one occasion Powel, Abel, and Featherstone had been at- 
tainted for denying the supremacy of the King ; Barnes, Garret, and Jerome, 
for maintaining heterodox opinions — ^they were now coupled. Catholic and 
Protestant, on the same huHxUes ; drawn together from the Tower to Smith- 
field, and while the former were hanged and quartered as traitors, the latter 
were consumed in the flames as heretics. 

The King had formerly sanctioned the publication of an English version 
of the Bible, and granted permission to aU his subjects to peruse it ; but in 
1548, he had discoyered that the indiscriminate reading of the holy volumes 
had not only generated a race of teachers who promulgated doctrines the 
most strange and contradictory, but had taught ignorant men to discuss the 
meaning of the inspired writings in alehouses and taverns, till, heated with 
controversy and liquor, they burst into ii\jurious language and provoked each 
other to breaches of the peace. And in his last speech to the Parliament, 
he complained bitterly of the religious dissensions which pervaded every 
parish in the realm. After observing that it was partly the fault of the 
^rgy, some of whom were " so stiff in their old mumpsimus, and others so 
busy in their new sumpsimus," instead of preaching the word of God, they 
weie employed in railing at each other ; and partly the fault of the laity, who 
delighted in censuring the proceedings of the clergy, he said : " If you know 
that any preach perverse doctrine, come and declare it to some of our council, 
or to us, to whom is committed by God the authority to reform and order 
such causes and behaviours; and be not judges yourselves of your own 


fimtastical opinions and vain expositions ; and although you be permitted to 
read holy scripture, and to have the word of God in your mother tongue, you 
must imderstand it is licensed you so to do, only to inform your conscience^ 
and inform your children and families, and not to dispute, and to make 
scripture a railing and taunting stock against priests and preachers. I am 
very sorry to know and hear,'* he added, '* how irreyerently that precious 
jewel, the word of God, is disputed, rhymed, sung, and jingled, in every ale- 
house and tavern, contraiy to the true meaning and doctrine of the same ; 
and yet I am as much sorry, that the readers of the same follow it in doing 
so faintly and coldly. For of this I am sure, that charity was never so faint 
among you, and virtuous and godly living was never less used, nor God 
himself among you never less served."* 

Tyndal's and Coverdale's versions of the Bible were this year (1543) ordered 
to be disused altogether, as "crafty, false, and untrue;" and permission 
to read the authorised translation, without note or comment, was confined 
to persons of the rank of lords or gentlemen. A new work was published in 
the same year, with the title of " A necessary Doctrine and Erudition for 
any christned Man," or the "^ Eing^s Book." This book, the composition of 
which occupied two committees of prelates and theologians for three years, 
contains a more full exposition of the doctrines to be taught, than that given 
in a previously published book, called " The Institution," with the addition 
of Transubstantiation, and the sufficiency of communion under one kind. 
The doctrines contained in this book were approved of by both houses of con- 
vocation ; and the Archbishop ordered them to be studied and followed by 
every preacher. 

Towards the latter end of his reign, Heniy became more arbitraiy, both 
in spirituals and temporals. The Archbishops of Ganterbuiy and York, 
the Bishop of London, and several other prelates, were obliged to make 
conveyances in his favour, of many manors belonging to their difilnreiit 
dioceses, upon veiy slight considerations, and these deeds were confirmed by 

The Bang, who had long indulged, without restrednt, in the pleasures of 
the table, at last became so enormously corpulent, that he could neither^sup- 
port the weight of his own body, nor remove without the aid of machineiy 
into the different apartments of his palace. Even the fatigue of subscribing 
his name to the writings which required his signature, was more than he 
could bear ; and three commissioners were appointed to perform that duty. 

• Hall, p. 160. + Vide the Act 37th HeDTy VIH., c. 16. 


An inveterate ulcer in the ihigh, whicli bad mote than once threatened his 
life, and which now seemed to baffle all the skill of bis surgeons, added to 
the irascibility of his temper ; and in the latter part of the year 1646, his 
health was rapidly declining. In his last illness, according to one account, 
be was constantly attended by his confessor, the Bishop of Rochester, beard 
mass daily in his chamber, and receiyed the communion under one kind ; 
another account states that he died in the anguish of despair ; and a third 
represents him revising spiritual aid till be could only reply to the exbortation 
of the Archbishop by a squeeze of the baud. As the awful hour of bis disso- 
lution approached, we are told by Burnet, that he became more froward, 
imperious, and untractable, than erer. His courtiers durst not remind bim 
of the change be was shortly to undeiigo, or desire him to prepare himself for it. 
At length, Burnet says. Sir Anthony Denny had the courage and honesty to 
disclose it to him ; the King expressed bis sorrow for the sins of his past life, 
and said be trusted in the mercies of Christy which were greater than his 
sins. He died at Westminster, on Friday, the 28th of January, 1547, in the 
66th year of his age, and d8th of his reign, leaving behind him the terrible 
character, that throughout his long reign be neither spared man in his anger, 
nor woman in his lust. By bis will he provided lor the interment of his 
body, the celebration of masses, and the distribution of alms for the benefit 
of bis souL* This will is now deposited in the Chapter House, Westminster. 
Henry VUi. was succeeded on the throne by his only son Edward VI., 
(by Jane Seymour, bis third Queen), being then just nine years old. His 
coronation was solemnized on the 30th of the Ibllovnng month (Februaiy), a 
new form having been drawn up for it, by bis uncle, the Duke of Somerset, 
now called the Lord Protector, and the ceremony was concluded with a 
solemn high mass sung by Archbishop Oranmer.f Somerset, and the other 
guardians of the youthful monarch, were favourable to the new doctrines, 
and to the professors of the new learning, though they deemed it prudent to 

• The body of Henry lay in state in the chapel of "Whitehall, which was hang with 
black cloth; eighty large wax tapers were kept constantly burning; twelve lords monmers 
sat around within a rail; and every day masses and a dirge were performed. At the 
commencement of the service, Norroy, King-at-arms, called aloud : " Of your charity, 
pray for the soul of the high and mighty Prince, our late Sovereign Lord, Heniy YIII.** 
On the 14th of February the body was removed to Sion House, on the 19th to Windsor, 
and the next day was interred in the midst of the choir, near the body of Jane Seymour. 
Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, preached the sermon, and read the Amend service, 
which eondudfid with the Psahn '* De profimdis." See Sandford, 402 ; Stzype, 2; Beo. 
lii., 17; Hajwaard, 276. 

f Stiypa'a Gnnmer, p. 144. 


conceal such predilection during the life time of Heniy ; and now that they 
were freed from restraint, they openly professed themselves the patrons of 
the new Gospel. They now undertook to establish a different religious creed ; 
with that view they entrusted the education of Edward to the most zealous 
though secret partisans of the reformed doctrines ; and in a short time the 
royal pupil beUeved that the worship so rigorously enforced by his fiftther 
was idolatrous. The diffusion of the '' new learning " was now aided by all 
the influences of the crown. The zeal of the King*s guardians was the more 
active, as it was stimulated by the prospect of reward ; for though they were 
the depositories of the sovereign authority, they had yet to make their 
private fortunes; and the church, notwithstanding the havoc which had 
been made in its possessions during the last reign, had yet some gleanings 
left. Accordingly, Edward's first Parliament, held in the first year of his 
reign, caused a survey and inquisition to be made and taken, of all the lands 
designed for the maintenance of Chantries, Free Chapels, and Colleges, which 
had not been fully effected in the reign of his father, and all the revenues 
given for obits, anniversaries, lights m churches, together with all the lands 
belonging to Guilds or Fraternities, on the same account* This Act did not 
pass without great difficulty ; Cranmer and others of the Reformers opposed 
it, knowing well, that when once these revenues were in the Sovereign's 
hands, the church would be deprived of them for ever ; and they (the Re- 
formers) hoped for some favourable opportunity to convert them to uses 
beneficial to the reformed religion. The people, too, in general continued to 
murmur at these proceedings. Many towns petitioned against them. We 
have not met with the record of a petition from the city of York, on the 
subject; but the people of Hull petitioned and complained, "That the 
church was ruined, the clergy beggared, all learning despised, and that the 
people began to grow barbarous, atheistical, and rude.f 

• For Chantries and Free Chapels, See noU at foot of page 187. The Ohit was the 
anniversaiy of any person's death ; and to observe such a day, with prayer, alms, or other 
commemorations, was called the keeping of the obit Anniversaries were similar to the 
obits, inasmuch as they were the yearly retnms of the death of persons, which the 
religions registered in their obitual or martyrology, and annnally observed in gratitude 
to their founders and beneflBu^tors. Ouild signifies a fraternity or society, many of which 
existed formerly for religions or charitable purposes. The name is derived from the 
Saxon, Gildan, to pay, because every member paid something towards the exx>ense8 of 
the society. 

f Becords of Hull. It mast be ever lamented that the destroyers of the religions 
houses did not spare the learning of the nation, collected through so many eentaries, 
and deposited in the lifararies of these' institutioitB. No-— all was sacrificed during the 


Finding that they ware likely to be disappointed in their expectations, the 
lapacious coortierB induced the joung King, either to give to them, or other- 
vise to sell greatly below their real value, most of these forfeited houses, and 
to p^y the said endowments out of the Crown's revenues, as is done, in part at 
least, even to this day. There was a clause in the Act, importing that these 
revenues should be converted to the erecting and maintenance of Grammar 
Schools, and to the better provision for preachers, curates, and readers ; and 
this seems, in part, to have been put in practice, for many schools in dif- 
lierent parts of the kingdom were founded at that period, and mostiy endowed 
out of the Chantry lands, disposed of as they had been at so much below 
their value. By this Act 90 Colleges, 110 Hospitals, and 3,784 Chantries 
and Free Chapeb, were destroyed. 

In the beginning of this year (1548) the council made great alterations in 
ckorch offices. By an order, dated January the 28th, carrying candles on 
Candlemas day ; making the sign of the cross on the forehead with ashes on 
Ash Wednesday ; and bearing palms on Palm Sunday, were forbidden ; as 
also were the rites used on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Confession 
was left optional, and it was ordered that all images and pictures should be 
removed iiom churches. In the Parliament which met on the d4th of 
November, in the same year, a bill was introduced for the purpose of autho- 
rizing the uses of a new liturgy, or a book of common prayer, in the English 
language, which had been compiled by Cranmer and Holgate, Archbishops 
of Canterbury and York, and upwards of twenty other commissioners. This 
bill, which imposed very serious penalties upon any minister who should 
refuse to use it, or who should preach or speak in derogation of it, passed 
through the lower house without much difficulty ; but in the higher house it 
met with a warm opposition. It was carried however by a minority of 31 to 
11. The non-contents were the Earl of Derby, the Bishops of London, 
Durham, Norwich, Carlisle, Hereford, Worcester, Westminster, and Chi- 
chester, and the Lords Dacres and Wyndsor.^t* 

Though the new liturgy was compiled chiefly from the Roman Missals and 

exterminating period, which put an end to the existence of the Catholio church as a 
national establishment Mannscripts, which can never be renewed, were consigned to 
profime uses ; whole ship loads were transported to the continent; histoiy, topography, 
biography, records, were alike bartered for a hase equivalent, and petty tradesmen were 
ftimiahed with paper for common purposes, which was worth its weight in gold. — CoU. 
EecL Hitft., vol. iL Bale asserts, that he knew a merchant, who received as many manu- 
soripta ftom monastto lihmries for iOs. as would serve him for all the purposes of his 
busmass for twenty years. 

• The King's Joonud, 6. Jooxnals, 881. Stvype, ii., p. 84. 


Breviaries (such parts being omitted as were deemed objectionable, and nu- 
merous additions and corrections introduced, to meet the wishes of the new 
teachers, without shocking the belief or the prejudices of their opponents), 
yet such was the attachment of the people to the ancient service, that in 
many counties they rose in open rebellion against it. Insurrections broke 
out almost at the same time in the counties of Wilts, Susses, Surrey, Bucks, 
Hants, Berks, Kent, Gloucester, Somerset, Devon, Oxford, Norfolk, Essex, 
Suffolk, Hertford, Leicester, Rutland, Worcester, and other counties. These 
rebellious risings, some of which were very formidable, were finally suppressed 
with the aid of the foreign troops — ^the bands of adventurers that had been 
raised on the continent to serve in the war against Scotland. In connection 
with these risings was an insurrection at Seamer, near Scarborough, in the 
second year of this reign. It was promoted by William Dale, the parish 
clerk ; William Ambler, or Ombler, of East Haslerton, yeoman ; and John 
Stevenson, of Seamer. They set fire to the beacon at Staxton in the night, 
and thereby assembled a rude mob, to the number of 3,000, whose avowed 
object was the restoration of the ancient faith. 

This rabble, before they were suppressed, committed several outrages ; a 
party of them went at night to the house of a person named White, and 
seizing him and all who were in the house, carried ihem to the wolds near 
Seamer, where they stripped and murdered them. Many apprehensions 
were at that time entertained that their numbers might swell to a formidable 
body, for discontent was pretty genend among the people ; but the Lord 
President of the North sent a detachment from York against them, and the 
King issued a proclamation, offering a general pardon to all who would sub* 
mit; on which the greater number of them immediately di^rsed, but the 
leaders were apprehended 4uid executed at York. 

Among the other changes in the forms and ceremonies of religion, in 1648, 
was the total abdition of Sanctuaries. In 1552 altars were ordered to be re- 
moved £rom churches, and tables substituted; and in the same year the 
marriage of priests was declared good and vaUd. 

In 1551 the city of York suffered considerably from a severe nondescript 
epidemic, called the Sweating Sickness, which extraordinaiy disease was then 
prevalent in England. This Mghtful plague made its first appearance at 
Shrewsbury on the 15th of April, in this year, and spreading towards the 
north, continued till the month of October following. People in perfect 
health were the most liable to be seized with it, and, in the beginning of the 
distemper, it was almost certain death in a few hours. Stowe instances its 
awful fatality, by seven housdiolders, indio all supped cheerfully together over 



mght, but before eight o'clock the next morning, six of them were dead. So 
great was the fear generally excited by tliis alarming disorder, that great 
numbers fled out of the kingdom, hoping to escape the contagion ; but, how- 
ever incredible it may appear, the most veritable historians positively assure 
us> that the evil followed them, and was peculiar to the English ; for, in 
various parts of the continent, though breathing a purer air, amongst men of 
different nations, the infection seized them, and them only. It first mani- 
fested itself in a sudden chilliness, immediately followed by violent perspiration, 
which brought on sleep, and terminated in death. Few escaped who were 
attacked with full stomachs. How many died in York of this singular dis- 
temper is not known, but it appears in Mr. Hildyard*s collections that the 
mortality was great.* This disease, says HoUinshed, made the nation begin 
to repent, and give alms, and remember God, from whom that plague might 
weU seem to be sent, as a scourge for the sins of the people ; but the im- 
pression, it seems, very soon wore out ; for as the contagion in time ceased, 
80, continues he, our devotion decayed. 

In the beginning of the year 1658, the King was seized with an illness, 
which ended in a consumption, of which he died on the 6th of July following, 
in the 16th year of his age, and 7th of his reign. During his illness, the 
rapacious courtiers not yet content with the spoils of the church which they 
had received, prevailed upon him to sign an order for visiting the churches, 
to examine what riches, plate, or jewels, belonged to them in general ; and 
to seize all the superfluous plate, ornaments, and Unen, for the alleged 
purpose of providing for the poor. "Calling in these superfluous orna- 
ments," says the Rev. J. Tickell, " which lay in the churches more for pomp 
than use, and converting them into money to be given to the poor, deserved 
no blame ; but the misfortune was, the poor had by much the least share of 
it, the greater part being appropriated to other uses."f 

When Mary, the daughter of Henry VILL. and Catherine of Arragon, and 
a Catholic, ascend^ the throne, in 1558, things were in great confusion, as 
might be expected, in consequence of the sacrilegious robberies and spoliations 
committed by her licentious fsither and his harpies ; and in the endeavour to 
restore the plundered property, as well as the ancient fEuth, many cruelties 
were perpetrated in her reign. She certainly had great difficulties to en- 
counter, considering the task which she had taken upon herself to perform ; 
for although her ministers professed deep sorrow for what had been done, and 
implored forgiveness, yet, such as were in possession of the spoils of the 

* Drake's Eboracum, p. 128. f HiBtory of Hull, p. 217. 

2 D 


monasteries, held them with an iron grasp ; they liked not that paying back 
again — ^it was double trouble. 

In the first Parliament of this reign (held soon after the accession of the 
Queen) all the statutes with regard to religion, which had been passed during 
the reigns of her father and brother, were repealed, so that the national 
religion was again placed on the same footing on which it stood at the death 
of Henry Yin. Intrigues were now set afoot, and fomented by the Eeformed 
preachers. In the same year a marriage was projected between the Queen 
and Philip, Prince of Spain, and son of the celebrated Emperor Charles V. 
An insurrection ensued, headed by Sir Thomas Wyat, the object of which 
was to force Mary to marry Courtenay, the young Earl of Devon (whom she 
had recently liberated from the Tower, to which he had been confined from 
his infancy by the jealousy of his father and brother) ; and failing in that, 
the conspirators resolved that he, in defiance of the Queen's authority, should 
marry the Princess Elizabeth, and repair with he|r to Devonshire and Corn- 
wall, where the inhabitants were devoted to his family ; and where he would 
find the Duke of Suffolk, the Earl of Pembroke, and many other Lords ready 
to join his standard. These and other plans were suggested and discussed, 
but Courtenay, though ambitious, was timid and cautious, and all their 
attempts failed. Of the participation in the treason of the insurgents of the 
Princess Elizabeth, there could hardly exist a doubt ; and for several weeks 
Renard, the Spanish ambassador, endeavoured to extort the Queen's consent 
that the Princess should be condemned, and sent to the scaffold. She was a 
competitor for the crown, he argued; she had accepted the offer of the rebels, 
and ought to suffer the penalty of her treason. However, that Queen, to 
whom we are accustomed to apply the opprobrious epithet of " bloody," dis- 
regarded these and other weU-founded arguments, and contented herself by 
proposing to her council that some one of her Lords should take chaise of 
the Princess in a private house in the country ; but no man being found 
willing to incur the responsibility, she was sent to the Tower, and afterwards 
to Woodstock. Some of the leaders of this rebellion, including Wyat, were 
condemned and executed ; others obtained pardon, and out of 400 taken iu 
the act of rebellion, but sixty suffered the penalty of their crime. A learned 
and impartial historian justly observes, that if on this occasion sixty of the 
insurgents were sacrificed to the justice and resentment of Mary, we shall 
find in the next reign, that after a rebellion of a less formidable aspect^ 
some hundreds of victims were required to appease the offended Ms^esty of 
her sister. And if we look at the conduct of government after the rebellions 
of 1715 and 1745, we shall not find that the praise of superior lenity is due 
to more modem times. 


During the insurrectioii referred to (which was chiefly confined to the 
oountj of Kent) a party of the insurgents attempted, hy stratagem, to take 
the castle of Scarborough, which at the time was but slightly garrisoned. 
Mr. Thomas Stafford, second son of Lord Stafford, collected some fugitives 
in France, which he disguised in the habits of peasants and countrymen, and 
took with him to Scarborough on a market day, under the most unsuspicious 
appearances. He, with about thirty of his little troop, strolled into the 
castle, at intervals, with a careless air, apparently to gratify their curiosity. 
Embracing a favourable opportunity, they, at the same moment, secured the 
different sentinels, took possession of the gate, and admitted their remaining 
companions, who, under the exterior gari> of countrymen, had concealed 
arms. They retained possession of the castle, however, but for three days, 
for the Earl of Westmorland, with a considerable force, recovered it without 
loss. Mr. Stafford was, on -account of his quality, beheaded ; and three 
other of the leaders, Strelley, Bradford, and Proctor, were hanged and quar- 
tered ; hence the origin of *' A Scarborough warning ; a word and a blow, 
and the blow comes first.*' 

On the festival of St James, in A. D. 1554, the marriage of Philip and 
Maiy was celebrated, in the Cathedral Church of Winchester, before crowds 
of the nobility of every part of Christendom, and with a magnificence which 
has seldom been surpassed.* And in the Parliament which assembled in 
the same year the Papal supremacy was restored, and the Church of England 
was re-united with that of Rome. The motion for the re-union was carried 
almost by acclamation. The dissolution of this Parliament was followed by 
an unexpected act of grace. The Lord Chancellor and several members of 
the council proceeded to the Tower, and, in the name of the King and Queen, 
rdeased the state prisoners still confined on account of the insurrection of 
Northumberland and Wyat. 

From the sufferings of the Reformers, or the men of the " new learning,*' 
in the reign of Heniy VULl., it might perhaps have been expected that they 
would have learned to respect the rights of conscience ; but experience 
proved the contrary. They had no sooner obtained the' ascendancy during 
the short reign of Edward, than they displayed the same persecuting spirit 
which they had formerly condemned. 

Unhappily this was an age of religious intolerance, when to punish the 
professors of erroneous doctrine was inculcated as a duty, no less by those 
who r^ected than by those who asserted the Papal authority ; and this is 

* See a Aill description of the ceremony, in Bosso, p. 61. 


equally true of foreign religionists.'^' Archbishop Cranmer had compiled a 
code of ecclesiastical discipline for the government of the Reformed church, by 
which it was declared to be heresy to beUeve in Transubstantiation, to admit 
the Papal supremacy, or to deny Justification by Faith only ; and it was or- 
dained that individuals accused of holding such heretical opinions should be 
arraigned before the spiritual courts, should be excommunicated on conviction, 
and after a respite of sixteen days, should, if they continued obstinate, be 
delivered to the civil magistrate, to suffer the punishment provided by law. 
Fortunately for the professors of the ancient faith, Edward died before the 
new canon law obtained the sanction of the legislature. 

By the accession of Mary the sword passed into the hands of the men of 
the '' old learning," and Cranmer and his associates perished in the flames 
which they had prepared for the destruction of their opponents. After the 
passing of the Act for reuniting the churches, the Reformed preachers acted 
in numerous instances with great imprudence, and really provoked chastise- 
ment by the intemperance of their zeal. Fanaticism became rampant, and 
a new conspiracy was organized in the counties of Cambridge, Suffolk, and 
Norfolk, and then the storm burst on their heads ; and if anything could be 
urged in extenuation of the cruelties which they afterwards suffered, it is the 
provocation given by themselves. They heaped on the Queen, her Bishops, 
and her religion, every indecent and irritating epithet which language could 
supply. Her clergy could not exercise their functions witiiout danger to 
their lives. A dagger was thrown at one priest in the pulpit ; a gun was 
discharged at another ; and several wounds were inflicted on a third, while 
he administered the communion in his church. Some congregations prayed 
for the death of the Queen ; and tracts of the most libellous and abusive 
character were transmitted from the exiles in Germany ; and successive in- 
surrections were planned by the fugitives in France. " For the better pre- 
servation of the peace of the realm," several of the preachers, with the most 
zealous of their disciples, were tried and executed for heresy ; and amongst 
them, Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer, each of whom had been concerned in 
the rebellion of Wyat. Many of the Reformed clergy sought an asylum in 
foreign cUmes ; but the Lutheran Protestants refused to receive them, styling 
them heretics, because they rejected the corporeal presence of Christ in the 
Eucharist. They, however, met a cordial reception from the disciples of 
Calvin and Zuinglius, and obtained permission to open churches in Stras- 
burg, Frankfort, Geneva, Zurich, Basle, and Aran. 

• See Calvin, de supplicio Sen'eti ; Beza, de Hecriticus a civili niagistratu puniendis ; 
and MelancthoD, in locis Com., c. xxxii., de Ecclesin. 


The Reformed writers have described in glowing colours the sufferings, and 
sought to multiply the number of the victims of persecution in this reign ; 
while the CathoHcs have maintained that the reader should distrust the 
exaggerations of men heated with enthusiasm, and exasperated by oppression. 
The most impartial writers state that, after expunging from the catalogue of 
the martyrs the names of all who were condemned as felons or traitors, or 
who died peaceably in their beds, or who survived the pubhcation of their 
martyrdom, or who would for their heterodoxy have been sent to the stake by 
Reformed prelates themselves, had they been in possession of the power, the 
number of persons that suffered for religious opinion in the space of four 
years, was nearly 200. And yet these deductions and allowances take but 
little from the infamy of the measure. The persecution continued at intervals 
till the death of Mary, which occurred in 1658. Her successor on the throne 
was the Princess Elizabeth, another daughter of Henry VIII., by his second 
wife, Anne BuUeyn, or Boleyn. 

In this reign the Protestant rehgion was re-established, and the Catholics 
again became an object of persecution. Those who denied the supremacy of 
the Queen suffered for it. 

Mr. Phillips, in his little work on Peterborough Cathedral, ahready quoted, 
says, "We must now say a few words about this * Good Queen Bess,' as her 
fraudulent historians call her. Indeed we cannot let this opportunity pass 
of shewing Elizabeth in her true colours. It is a duty which every writer 
owes to the public. Be it known then, that during the reign of her sister 
Maiy, Elizabeth professed to be a most zealous Catholic. She attended 
mass, and could count her beads with the rapidity and devotion of a saint. 
Yet, notwithstanding these outward appearances. Queen Mary knew the 
treachery and deception of her sister s heart, and was never confident of her 
actions. She long suspected her sister's conduct, and when dying, requested 
that Elizabeth would no longer deceive her as to her real character. With a 
great oath, Elizabeth said, she hoped ' the earth would open and swaUow her 
up, if she were not in heart and soul a Cathotic' No sooner, however, was 
Elizabeth, Queen, than she declared herself a Protestant, and began her reign 
by dismissing from office all those who were not after her way of thinking. 
It would require too much space to write out a fair statement of Elizabeth's 
character in this work ; if, however, the blackest perjury — ^the most base and 
open licentiousness'*' — ^the most horrid sacrifices to the Protestant faith — ^the 

* There is a law yet unrepealed in the statute book, which Elizabeth caused to be 
passed in her reign, which enacts, that all her naturcd children should be heirs to the 
throne, by whomsoever begotten. 


cruelest hatred and persecution of a young and lovely Queen, who threw 
herself upon Elizabeth for protection — ^if imprisoning her for upwards of 
eighteen years for an alleged crime, of which she had no right to be an 
arbiter, and the final murder of that Queen, are sufficient virtues to make 
Elizabeth worthy the commendation of posterity — ^we wUl leave her to their 
homage, and smother the indignation which the black catalogue of her crimes 
arouses within us." 

In the second session of Parliament in this reign, the obligation of taking 
the oath of supremacy (the administration of which had hitherto been con- 
fined to persons seeking preferment in the church, or accepting office under 
the crown) was extended to others ; and the first refusal was made an offence 
punishable by premunire, and the second by death, as in cases of treason. 
This measure, which evidentiy aimed at the total extinction of the ancient 
creed, met with considerable opposition from many Protestants, who ques- 
tioned both its justice and its policy ; but after a long struggle it was carried 
by the efforts of the ministers ; and had its provisions been strictiy carried 
into execution, the scaffolds in every part of the kingdom would have been 
drenched with the blood of the sufferers. The convocation, which had as- 
sembled, according to ancient custom, at the same time with the Parliament, 
now drew up a new creed, chiefly foimded upon that formerly published by 
the authority of Edward YI. This important work, called the Thirty-nins 
Artklesy as they now exist, received the subscriptions of the two houses of 
convocation in 1562. But what a strange and inconsistent being is man ! 
The framers of the Thirty-nine Articles could not have forgotten the perse- 
cution of the last reign — ^many of them having suffered imprisonment or exile 
£or their dissent from the established church ; and yet, as if they had suc- 
ceeded to the infallibility which they condemned, they refused to others the 
liberty of religious choice which they had arrogated to themselves. Instead 
of considering the newly drawn up articles, as merely the distinguishing 
doctrines of the church, recentiy established by law, they laboured to force 
them upon the consciences of others, by making it a crime, subject to the 
penalties of heresy, to question their truth. But the attempt was opposed by 
the council, as being unnecessary as far as regarded Catholics, since they 
could at any moment be brought to the scaffold under the Act of Supremacy. 
The cruel penal laws enacted in this reign for the extirpation of the Catholic 
religion, awarded the punishment of death in its most hideous form to ordaiii 
a Catholic priest within the kingdom; death to a Catholic priest to enter the 
kingdom from abroad ; death to harbour such a priest ; death to confess to 
such a priest ; death for a priest to celebrate mass ; death for a Catholic to 


attend at mass ; and death, as before stated, to deny that the Queen was bead 
of the church. Challoner's list of persons put to death for the Catholic 
faith, between the years 1577 and 1681, contains the names of thirty-three 
phests and eighteen of the laity, who suffered in York. 

But in addition to the Catholics, the Puritans (who derived their origin 
&om some of the exiled ministers, who, during the reign of Mary, had im- 
bibed the opinions of Calvin) were a perpetual cause of disquietude to the 
Queen. They approved of much that had been done, and. urged her to a 
further reformation. They objected to the superiority of the Bishops, and 
the jurisdiction of the episcopal courts ; to the repetition of the Lord's Prayer, 
to the responses of the people, to the sign of the cross in the administration 
of baptism, to the ring and the words of the contract in that of marriage, to 
the observance of festivals, the chant of the psalms, the use of musical 
instruments in churches, and to the habits, " the very livery of the beast," 
worn by the ministers during the celebration of divine service.'*^ The Queen, 
who had a rooted antipathy against the doctrines of the Puritans, and an 
insuperable jealousy of all their proceedings, erected a tribunal, called the 
High Commission Court, for the purpose of enquiring, on the oath of the 
person accused, and on the oaths of witnesses, of all heretical, erroneous, and 
dangerous opinions, &c. Catholics and Puritans alike felt the vengeance of 
this tribunal ; many of the Puritan clergy being imprisoned and suspended. 
In 1571, not fewer than seven bills for a further reformation, were introduced 
into the House of Commons. To the Queen such conduct appeared an act 
of high treason against her supremacy ; and on the dissolution of the Parlia- 
ment the Lord Keeper, by her command, informed the Puritans, that she 
" did utterly disallow and condemn their foUy, in meddling with things not 
appertaining to them, nor within the capacity of their understandings."! 

A slight glance at the events of this reign reveals to ns, that the subjects 
of the Queen were required to submit to the superior judgment of their 
Sovereign, and to practice that religious worship which she practised. Every 
other £oTm of service, whether it were that of Geneva, in its evangelical 
purity, or the mass, with its supposed idolatry, was strictly forbidden, and 
both the Catholic and the Puritan were made liable to the severest penalties 
if they presumed to worship God according to the dictates of their con- 
sciences. But the experience of ages has shown that religious opinions are 
not to be eradicated by severities. 

In 1569, the Catholics made a fruitless attempt in the north to restore 

« Neal'8 Puritans, o. 4, 5. t D'Ewes's Journal, 161, 177. 


their religion hj assembling, to the number of 1,600 horse and 4,000 foot, 
under the command of Thomas Percy, Earl of Northumberland, and Charles 
Neville, Earl of Westmorland. The first object of the insurgents was to 
release the Queen of Scots from Tetbury, and endeavour to extort from 
Elizabeth a declaration that she (Mary) was next heir to the throne. The 
proclamations which they published, stated that they did not intend to attempt 
anything against the Queen, to whom they avowed unshaken allegiance. Her 
Majesty is surrounded, says one of these documents, " by divers newe set-upp 
nobles, who not onlie go aboute to overthrow and put down the ancient 
nobiHtie of the realme, but also have misused the Queue's Majistie's owne 
personne, and also have by the space of twelve yeares nowe past set upp and 
mayntayned a new-foimd religion and heresie, contrary to God's word." 
Wherefore they called upon all true Englishmen to join with them in their 
attempt to restore the crown, the nobihty, and the worship of God, to their 
former estate. " They saw around them examples of successful insurrection 
in the cause of religious liberty," writes Dr. Lingard. " The Calvinists of 
Scotland had established their own creed in defiance of all opposition ; the 
Calvinists of France had thrice waged war against their own Sovereign ; both 
had been aided with men and money by the Queen of England. If this were 
lawful to other religionists, why might not they also draw the sword, and 
claim the rights of conscience."* 

^ The first meetings of the chief insurgents were held at the seat of the 
Earl of Northumberland, near TopclifiTe ; and they there entered into a cor* 
respondence with the Duke of Alva, Governor of the Low Countries, and 
obtained his promise of a reinforcement of troops, and a supply of arms and 
ammunition. Rumours of the intended insurrection having gone abroad, 
the two Earls were summoned to appear at court to answer for their conduct. 
This order from the Queen precipitated the rising before they were fully pre- 
pared ; for the leaders had already proceeded so far in their designs, that they 
dare not trust themselves in the Queen's hands. They determined to b^gin 
the insurrection without delay ; and their first demonstration was made at 
Durham, where they had a mass celebrated in the Cathedral before several 
thousand people, and where they threw down the communion table, and tore 
the English prayer books into pieces. Thence they marched forward to 
Staindrop, Darlington, Richmond, and Ripon, restoring the ancient service 
in each place. At the latter town they assembled round the market cross on 
the 18th of November, and after putting Sir William Ingilby, who had op- 

• Histoiy of England, vol. viii., p. 46, fop. 8vo. 


posed them, to flight, they proceeded to Enareshorough and Wetherfoy, and 
thence to Clifford Moor. They then marched towards York, but hearing that 
the Earl of Essex, then Lord President of the North, was there with 5,000 
effective men, they retired and laid siege to Barnard Castle. That fortress 
was under the command of Sir Oeorge Bowes and his brother, who, alter a 
gallant defence of eleven days, capitulated on condition that the garrison 
cdiould be allowed to march, with their arms and ammunition, to York ; which 
they accordingly did. The Earl of Sussex, the Earl of Rutland, Lord 
Hunsdon, William, Lord Evers, and Sir Halph Sadler, with their forces, to 
the number of 7,000, now marched from York, against the rebels. On their 
approach, the leaders, through fear, fled into Scotland ; the insurgents dis* 
parsed, but most of them were killed or captured in their flight. The fiailure 
of this enterprise involved many of the conspirators in ruin ; and on Qood 
Friday, the d7th of March, 1570, Simon Digby, of Aiskew, and John Ful- 
thorpe, of Iselbeck, Esqrs; also Robert Pennyman, of Stokesley, and Thomas 
Bishop, Jun., of Pocklington, gentlemen (all of whom were taken, and im- 
prisoned in York Castle), were drawn to Enavesmire, and there " hanged, 
headed, and quartered," and their heads, with four of their quarters, were 
placed on the four principal gates of the city, and the other quarters were set 
up in different other parts of the country. The Earl of Westmorland found 
means to escape from Scotland to Flanders ; but the Earl of Northumberland 
was betrayed and given up by the Earl of Moreton, Viceroy of Scotland, and 
Lord Hunsdon, Governor of Berwick. He was conducted a prisoner to 
York, and beheaded on a scaffold erected for that purpose, in Pavement in 
that dty, opposite the church of St Crux, on the 22nd of August, 1572, and 
his head was set upon a high pole over Micklegate Bar, where it remained 
about two years. His head appears not, however, to have been taken down 
by ofiScial authority ; for, from a curious old MSS., written about that period, 
Allen quotes the following memorandum, " Li the year 1574, the head of the 
Earl of Northumberland was stolen in the night, from Micklegate Bar, by 
persons unknown. **♦ The Earl died avowing tlie Pope^s supremacy, denying 
that of the Queen, and affirming the land tjf^ be in a state of schism, and her 
aMiheiBDts no better than heretics.f His body was buried in the church of 
St. Cruxy without any memorial, attended only by two of his men-servants, 
and three women. This was the last open attempt made to restore the 

• In the same xnantucript it la stated that doling this year a vezy oonsiderable earth* 
qnake was experienced at York. It ftirther states that abont the same time a prison was 
erected on Onse bridge, in the same dty. 

f Speed. 

2 E 


Catholic religion in this kingdom. Hume sajs great severity was exercised 
against such as had taken part in these rash enterprises; no less than sixty- 
six of them were hanged in Durham ;'*' and about 800 persons are said, in 
the whole, to have suffered by the hands of the executioner. Between New- 
castle and Wetherby, a distance of sixty miles in length by forty in breadth, 
there was not a town or village in which some of the inhabitants did not 
expire on the gibbet. In this last attempt to re-establish the ancient creed, 
some of the leaders are supposed to have entertained the design of placing 
on the throne Mary, the Scottish Queen, then a prisoner in England. 

During the progress of this rebellion, the city of York was in daily ex- 
pectation of a siege, as is abundantly proved by many curious entries in the 
Corporation records. For example, on the 18th of November, it is ordered, 
*^ that the wardens do bring into the citie all sties and ladders that may lie 
in the suburbs thereof, and the inhabitants do make their abode in the citie 
thys troblesome time." On the 21st, it is directed, " that whensoever any 
alarm shal hapen within this citie, no manner of men, women, ne children 
shall make any showteyng, crying, nor noyse, but to kepe silens."! A city 
guard of 100 men is also spoken of. 

The many wai*m contests, with respect to trade and commerce, which took 
place between the city of York and the town of Eingston-upon-Hull, — ^being 
for many years rivals in this respect — were amicably terminated by an agree- 
ment made and entered into on the 28th of June, 1577. On that day articles 
were agreed on between Hugh Greaves, the then Lord Mayor of York, and 
the citizens of the said city, on the one part ; and John Thornton, Mayor of 
Kingston-upon-Hull, and the burgesses of the same, on the other part ; by 
the mediation and before the Hon. Henry, Earl of Htmtingdon, Lord Presi- 
dent of the North. By this agreement all differences and disputes between 
the two parties finally terminated. 

In the 3'ear 1568 an investigation into the charges made against the unfor- 
tunate Mary, Queen of Scotiand, was held at York, before commissioners 
appointed by Queen Elizabeth. These commissioners were the Duke of 
Norfolk, the Earl of Sussex, an(^ Sir Ealph Sadler. Mary was represented 
by Lesley, Bishop of Ross ; the Lords Livingstone, Boyd, and Herries, and 
three others. During these conferences, which continued for several days, 
the city of York was the scene of active and intricate negotiation ; but at 
length the proceedings were transferred to London. In 1585 many of the 

* Dr. lingard says that no less than 800 suffered in the county of Durham, 
f Memorials of the Bebellion of 1569, 8vo., London, 1840, p. 76. 


churches of York were united. In 1600 the city was again visited with a 
very serious earthquake, which greatly alarmed the inhabitants. On Thurs- 
day,* the d4th of March, 1603, Queen Elizabeth finished her long, prosperous, 
but rigorous and imperious reign. She died at her Manor of Richmond, in 
Surrey, in the 70th year of her age, and 45th of her reign, and was buried in 
Westminster, in the chapel of Henry VII., where a stately monument is 
erected to her memory.f 

Maiy and her sister Elizabeth — ^two zealous promoters of rival creeds — 
are dead ; and here we pause to ask, are the religions which these two Queens 
professed, to be charged with the excesses perpetrated in their reigns? By 
no means I far from it This would be calumny of the blackest dye. If we 
attribute the persecutions in Mary's reign to the spirit of Catholicism, must 
we not» by the same rule, attribute the rigorous and protracted persecutions 
in the reign of Elizabeth, and all the diabolical penal laws, to the spirit of 
Protestantism ? Assuredly we must But both the Catholic and Protestant 
church equally deplore those direM persecutions, and most emphatically and 
unequivocally condemn the laws which countenanced them. To what then 
are these persecutions to be attributed? To the impiety of the age, the 
eruelty of individuals, and not to the religion of our forefathers, or the spirit 
of the reformed creed. And perhaps the cause may be discovered in the 
fact, that the extirpation of erroneous doctrine was inculcated as a duty, 
by the leaders of every religious party. Mary is called " bloody," but im- 
partial writers tell us, that she only practised what the Beformers taught ; 
and that it was her misfortune, rather then her fault, that she was not more 
enlightened than the wisest of her contemporaries. 

The successor of Elizabeth was James VI. of Scotland (son of Mary, 
Queen of Scots), who became James I. of England. That monarch visited 
York in 1603, on his way from Scotland to London, to take possession of 
the crown of England, and was received by the Lord Mayor and citizens 
with great magnificence, and splendid demonstrations of loyalty. The fol- 
lowing quaint account of this monarch's reception at York, is from the pen 
of Mr. Edward Howes, the continuator of Stowe's Annals. 

* Stowe observes that this day of the week was fatal to King Henry Vm., and all his 
posterity ; himself, his son Edward, and his daughters Mary and Elizabeth, having died 
on that day. 

f The reign of EUzabeth was long and prosperous ; and was somewhat conspicuous, 
too, for what Pennant calls its " romantic fooleries." TUts and tournaments were the 
delight of " good Queen Bess." " At these, in her 6«th year," says that author, " with 
wrinkled face, red perriwig, little eyes, hooked nose, skinny lips, and black teeth, she 
could suck in the gross flatteries of her favoured courtiers." 


" On the 15th of April, 1603, his M^jestie set forwards from Durham 
towards Yorke, his train still increasing by the numbers of gentlemen from 
ihe south parts, that came to offer him fealty ; whose love, although he greatly 
tendered, yet did their multitudes so oppress the country, and made pro- 
visions so dear, that he was fain to publish an inhibition against the inordinate 
and daily access of the people coming, that many were stopped in their way. 

'* The High Sheriffe of Yorkshire, very well accompanied, attended his 
Majestie to Master Inglebyes, beside Topcliffe, being about sixteen miles 
from Walworth, where the King had lain the night before, who with all joy 
and humility received his Mi^estie, and he rested there that night 

" The Lord Mayor and Aldermen of Yorke, upon certayne knowledge of the 
King's journey into England, with all diligence consulted what was fittest to 
be done, for the receiving and entertajming so mighty and gracious a Sove- 
raygne, as well within the cittie, as at the outmost bounds thereof; as also 
what further service, or duteous respect, they ought to show his Majestie 
uppon so good and memorable an occasion as now was offered unto them ; 
and thereupon they sent Bobert Askwith, Alderman, unto Newcastle, and 
there in the behalfe of the Lord Mayor and citizens of Yorke, to make tender 
of their zealous love and dutie, for the which his Majestie gave them heartie 

"And uppon Saturday, the 16th of April, John Robinson and George 
Bucke, Shenffes of Yorke, with their white roddes, being accompanied with 
an hundred citizens, and threescore other esquires, gentlemen, and others, 
the most substantial persons, being all well mounted, they received the King 
at the east end of Skip bridge, which was the utmost boundes of the libertyes 
of the cittie of Yorke ; and there kneeling, the Sheriffes delivered their white 
roddes unto the King, with acknowledgment of their love and allegiance unto 
his M^yestie, for the which the King, with cheerfull countenance, thanked 
them, and gave them their roddes agajme ; the which they carried all the 
way upright in their handes, ryding all the way next before the seigeant 
at armes. 

" And before the King came to the cittie, his Majestie had sent Syr Thomas 
Challenor to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, to knowe who formerlye had 
borne the sworde before the Kinges of England at their coming to Yorke ; 
and to whom of right that office for that tyme appertayned, because it had 
been anciently performed by the Earls of Cumberland, as hereditary to that 
house, but was now challenged by the Lord President of the North, for the 
tyme being, as proper to his place. But upon due search and examination, 
it was agreed, that the honour to bear the sworde before the King in Yorke, 


belonged unto Greorge, Earle of Cumberland, who all the while the King was 
in Yorke, bare the sworde, for so the King willed, and for that purpose sent 
Syr Thomas Challenor agajne to the Lord Mayor, and the Lord Mayor bare 
the great mace of the cittie, going always on the left hand of the Earle. 

"And when the King came to the cittie, which was well prepared to give his 
Highness and his royal tndne entertaynment, then the Lord Mayor, with the 
twelye Aldermen in their scarlet robes, and the foure-and-twentye in crimson 
gownes, accompanied with many others of the gravest menne, met the King 
at Micklegate Bar, his Majestie going betweene the Duke of Lennox and 
Lord Hume ; and when the King came near to the scaffold where the Lord 
Mayor, with the Recorder, the twelve Aldermen, and the foure-and-twentye, 
were all kneeling, the Lord Mayor said, ' Most high and mightie Prince, I 
and my brethren do most heartilie wellcome your Majestie to your Highness* 
cittie, and, in token of our duties, I deliver unto your Majestie all my au- 
Uioritie of this your Highness* cittie,* and then rose uppe and kissed the 
sworde, and delivered it into the King*s hand, and the King gave it to the 
Duke of Lennox, who, according to the King*s appointment, delivered it 
unto the Earle of Cumberland, to bear before his Majestie. 

'* The Lord Mayor also delivered up the keyes of the cittie, which the 
Lord Hume received and carried them to the manor. And when the Re- 
corder had ended his grave oration on behalfe of the cittie, then the Lord 
Mayor, as the King commanded, took horse, and bare ihe cittie mace, ryding 
on the left hande of the Earle of Cumberland, who bore the sword of the cittie, 
and so attended his Majestie to St. Feter*s church, and was there royally 
received by the Deans, Prebends, and the whole quyer of singing menne of 
that Cathedral church in their richest copes. At the entrance into the 
church, the Dean made a learned oration in Latin, which ended, the King 
ascended the quyer. The canapa was supported by six Lordes, and was 
placed in a throne prepared for his Migestie, and during divine service there 
came three sergeants at armes with their maces, pressing to stand by the 
throne, but the Earle of Cumberland put them down, saying, that place, for 
that tyme, belonged to hym and the Lord Mayor, and not to them. 

" Divine service being ended, the King returned in the same royal manner 
he came ; the canapa being carried over him into the manor of St. M^ryes, 
where the Lord Burleigh and council gave tiieir attendance, and received his 
Majestie, where Dr. Bennet having ended his eloquent oration, the King 
went into his chamber, the sworde and mace being there borne by the Earle 
and Lord Mayor, who left the sworde and mace there that night ; and when 
the Lord Mayor was to depart, the Lord Hume delivered him agayne the 
keyes of the cittie. 


" The next day, being Sundai, the 17th of Aprili the Lord Major, with 
the Recorder, the Aldermen and Sheriffes, and the twentye-fonre, with all 
their chief officers, and the Preacher of the cittie, and Town Clerk, in very 
comely order, went unto the manor, of whome, as soone as the King had 
knowledge of their comming, willed that so many of them as the roome would 
permit should come into the privy chamber, where the Lord Mayor presented 
his Majestie with a Deiyre cuppe, with a cover of silver and gilt, weighing 
seventie and three ounces, and in the same two hundred anjels of gold ; and 
the Lord Mayor sayde, ' Most high and mightie Prince, I and my brethren, 
and aU the whole commonaltie of this your Highnesse cittie, present unto 
your most excellent Majestie this cuppe and golde, in token of the dutifull 
affection wee bear your Highnesse in our hearts, most humbly beseeching 
your Highnesse favourable acceptance thereof, and your most gracious favour 
to this your Highnesse cittie of York;* the which his Majestie graciously 
accepted, and sayde unto them, ' God will bless you the better for your good 
will towards your King.' The Lord Mayor humbly besought the King to 
dine with him the next Tuesdai ; the King answered, he should ride thence 
before that time, but he would break his fast with him in the next morning. 

** This Sundai the King went to the Minster, and heard a sermon, made 
by the Dean,* who was Bishop of Limerick, in L'eland. The Lord Mayor, 
Aldermen, and Sheriffes, and foure and twentye attended upon the King, the 
Earle still bearing the sworde, the Lord Mayor the mace, and the Sheriffes 
bearing up their roddes, as well within the church as in the streets, marching 
before the King unto the manor. The next day being Mondai, at nine 
o'clock, the Lord Mayor came to the manor, being accompanied and attended 
by the Recorder, Aldermen, and foure and twentye, and others, and attended 
there ; and at ten of the clock, the King, with his royal traine, went to the 
Lord Mayor s house, and there dined ; after dinner the King walked to the 
Dean's house, and was there entertayned with a banquette, at the deanerie ; 
the King took horse, and passed through the cittie forth at Micklegate towards 
Grimstone, the house of Sir Edward Stanhope, the Earle of Cumberland and 
the Lord Mayor bearing the sworde and mace before the King, until they 
came to the house of St. Kathren, at which place the Earle said, ' Is it your 
M^yestie's pleasure that I deliver the sworde agayne unto my Lord Mayor, 
for he is now at the utmost partes of the liberties of this cittie ?' Then the 
King willed the Earle to deliver the Mayor his sworde agayne. Then the 
Mayor alighted from his horse, and kneeling, took his leave of the King, and 

* Dr. ThomboroQgh. 


the King pulling off his glove, took the Mayor by the hande, and gave him 
tfaankes, and so rode towards Gnmstone, being attended by the Sheriffes to 
the middle of Tadcaster bridge, being the utmost bounds of their liberties. 
The next day the Lord Mayor, according as he was commanded by a noble- 
man, came the next morning unto the court at Grimstone, accompanied by 
the Recorder, and foure of his brethren, viz. — ^WHliam Robinson, James 
Birkbie, William Greenburie, and Robert Askwith, and certain chief officers 
of the cittie ; and when his Miyestie imderstood of their coming, he willed 
that the Mayor, and Master Robinson, and Master Birkbie should be brought 
up into his bed-chamber ; and the King saide, * My Lord Mayor, our mean- 
ing was to have bestowed upon you a knighthood in your own house, but the 
oompanie being so great, we rather thought it good to have you here;' and 
then his Majestie knighted the Lord Mayor,'*' for which honour the Lord 
Mayor gave his Migestie most humble and heartie thankes, and returned/' 

Hildyard, in his Antiquities of York, tells us that the King was much 
pleased with the loyalty and affection paid him by the Lord Mayor and 
citizens, and that at dinner with them, he expressed himself much in favour 
of the dty, and promised that he, himself^ would come and be a burgess 
among them ; and that their river, which was in a bad condition, should be 
made navigable. From another source we learn that before the King left 
York, he ordered all prisoners in the city to be set at Hberty, ^* wilful mur- 
derers, traitors, and papists being excepted." 

Li the June following, his Queen, and thjeir two eldest children, Prince 
Henry, and Lady Elizabeth, visited York on their road from Edinburgh to 
London, and met with a reception equally cordial. The royal party arrived 
in York on the Whitsun Eve, and on the following Wednesday departed for 
Grimston, &o. On this occasion the Lord Mayor and citizens presented to 
the Queen a large silver cup, with a cover double gilt, weighing forty-eight 
ounces, with eighty gold angels in it ; to the Prince, a silver cup, with a 
cover double gilt, weighing twenty ounces, and £20, in gold ; and to the 
Princess, a purse of twenty angels of gold. The King visited Pontefract in 
the same year, when he granted that honour and castle to the Queen, as part 
of her jointure. 

In the second year of this reign (1004), the plague, which the preceding 
year had carried off 30,578 persons in London, raged to an alarming extent 
at York, no less than 3,512 of the inhabitants falling victims to it, though 
by the precautions used, it was not of long duration. To prevent the conta- 

• Sir Bobert Waiter. 


gion from spreading into the country, stone crosses were erected in various 
parts of the vicinity of York, where the country people, without coming into 
the city, met the citizens, and sold them their commodities. Several of these 
crosses are yet remaining. The infected were sent to Hob Moor, and Horse 
Fair, where wooden booths were erected for them; and the Minster and 
Minster-yard were close shut up. The Lord President's courts were ad- 
journed to Ripon and Durham, and many of the inhabitants removed from 
the city. 

The year 1607 was remarkable for a severe frost, by which the river Ouse 
became almost a solid body of ice. Various sports were practised on it ; and 
Drake says that a horse race was run on it frt)m the tower at Marygate end, 
under the great arch of the bridge, to the cranes at Skeldergate postern. 
Seven years afterwards, there was so heavy a fall of snow in the month of 
January, during a frost of about eleven weeks, that when it was dissolved 
by a thaw, the Ouse overflowed its banks, and covered North Street and 
Skeldergate, so that the inhabitants were obliged to leave their houses. This 
inundation lasted ten days, and destroyed many bridges. It being the assize 
week, four boats were employed at the end of Ouse bridge to cany passengers 
across the river ; and the same number were engaged in Walmgate to ferry 
over the Foss. A drought succeeded, which continued till August following, 
and caused a great scarcity of hay, beans, and barley. 

In 1617 (August 10th), King James, with his nobles and Knights, both 
English and Scotch, visited York, on his progress to Scotland. The Sheriffs 
of the city, clad in their scarlet gowns, and attended by 100 yoimg citizens 
on horseback, met his Majesty on Tadcaster bridge, and escorted him to 
Micklegate Bar, where he was received and welcomed by the Lord Mayor, 
Aldermen, and commonalty, with the usual formalities ; and a silver cup, 
value £36. 5s. 7d., was presented to him, and an elegant purse, of the value 
of £3., containing 100 double sovereigns. The Recorder delivered a long 
oration, and on Ouse bridge another speech was made to the King, by one 
Sands Percvine, a London poet, respecting the cutting of the river, and 
making it navigable. His Majesty then rode to the Minster, where he heard 
divine service, and thence retired to the Manor Palace, where he kept his 

The next day he dined at Sir George Young*s house, in the Minster-yard, 
with Lord Sheffield, the Lord President, and after dinner, he created eight 
Knights, and examined the Cathedral and Chapter House, which he much 

* Nichol's Progresses of James I., vol. iiL, p. 271. 


admired. The following day his Majesty rode through the city, vrith all liis 
train, to the Archiepiscopal Palace at Bishopthorpe, where he dined with 
Tobias Matthew, the Archbishop. After attending divine service in the 
Cathedral on Sunday, which was the 13th, " this Bctgcuiow Prince, the Solo- 
mon of the North, touched about seventy persons afflicted with the King's 
Evil." That day he, and his whole court, dined with the Lord Mayor, and 
after dinner he knighted the Mayor,* and Serjeant Button, the Recorder. 
Next day the King rode to Sheriff Hutton Park, and there knighted several 
gentlemen. On Tuesday, the 16th of August, Dr. Hodgeson, Chancellor of 
the Church, and Chaplain to his Majesty, preached before him at the Manor 
Palace ; and after sermon the King departed for Ripon, where he was pre- 
sented with a gUt bowl, and a pair of Ripon spurs, which cost five pounds. 
On the 16th of April he slept at Aske Hall, the seat of T. Bower, Esq., whom 
he subsequently knighted at Durham. In March, 1625, James was seized 
with illness ; his indisposition was at first considered a tertian ague ; after- 
wards the gout in the stomach ; but whatever was its real nature, under his 
obstinacy in lefiising medicine, and the hesitation or ignorance of his physi- 
cians, it poved &tal, for he died on the d7ih of the same month, in the 69th 
year of his age ; after a reign of twenty-two years over England, and over 
Scotland almost the whole of his life. Of his seven children, two only sur- 
vived him ; Charles, his successor on the throne, and Elizabeth, the titular 
Qneen of Bohemia. 

'* James," writes Dr. Lingard, '' though an aUe man, was a weak monarch. 
His quickness of apprehension, and soundness of judgment, were marred by 
his credulity and partialities, his childish fears, and habit of vaccillation. 
Eminently qualified to advise as a counsellor, he wanted the ^irit and reso- 
lution to act as a Sovereign. His discourse teemed with maxims of political 
wisdom, his conduct firequently bore the impress of political imbecility. If, 
io the language of his flatterers, he was the British Solomon ; in the opinion 
of less interested observers, he merited the appellation given to him by the 
Dnke of Sully, that of the tpteeetfool in Europe"^ 

Charles I. ascended the throne when he was in his d5th year, and his 
disastrous reign will, through all time, occupy a distinguished place in the 
annals of England. Every part of the kingdom was agitated by that mighty 
coilision which arose between the monarchial and democratic branches of the 
l^gislatore ; but in the county of York the shock was felt with greater violence 
than in any other county in Great Britain. Yorkshire was indeed shook to 

• Sir Bobert Aakwith. t History of England, voL ix., p. 232, Fcp. 8vo. 

3 F 


its centre by the contests which took place during this eventful reign, between 
the prerogatives of the Crown and the privileges of the Parliament. 

No county in England has witnessed more of the civil wars, to which the 
kingdom, in former ages, was exposed, than this ; and it is not a little re- 
markable that Yorkshire, which afforded the scene of action for the battle 
which decided the fate of the house of Lancaster, on the field of Towton, 
should have witnessed the overthrow of the house of Stewart on the field of 
Marston. Indeed, the military history of Yorkshire, from the earliest times 
to the end of the great civil war, which ended with the restoration of Charles 
n., is a study in itself well deserving of attention. 

A recent writer, in referring to the county of York as being the scene of 
numerous military encounters from the earliest ages, says, ** It was in York- 
shire where the most powerful nation of the aboriginal Britons dwelt ; where 
the Romans displayed their grandeur, and had their favourite station ; where 
the Saxons first exhibited their valour against the Picts and Scots ; where 
the roving Danes first gained a permanent establishment; and where the 
northmen sustained their greatest reverse, at Stamford Bridge. The Scot- 
tish invaders never sustained a more complete defeat than at Standard Hill. 
A more bloody battle never took place in England than that of Towton Field. 
Yet all these sink into insignificance, in their causes and consequences, com- 
pared with that of Marston Moor."* 

Entering upon the stage of action inexperienced and impolitic, at a period 
too iu many respects highly unfavourable, Charles had difficulties of no 
ordinary character to encounter; yet, on the other hand, few monarchs 
ever came to the crown of England with a greater variety of favourable 
circumstances, in some respects, than he did. He saw himself in posses* 
sion of a flourishing kingdom — his right to that kingdom undisputed — 
and strengthened by the alliance of the French King, whose sister he 
had recently married. But these circumstances were of little avail in the 
present critical posture of affairs. The supply granted by Parliament to 
his father, had not covered the moiety of the charges for which it had 
been voted, and James bequeathed to him debts amotmting to dS 7 00,000. 
The accession, and marriage too, of the new King, had involved him in 
extraordinary expenses. It was, however, with cheerfulness and confidence 
that he threw himself on the bounty of his subjects. His first Parliament 
met on the 18th of June, and in this assembly he demanded the necessaiy 

* BatUe Fields of Yorkshire. 


supplies for carrying on the war of the Palatinate; but his request was 
answered with a petition for an enquiry into the grievances of the nation ; 
and instead of granting the sums required, they employed their time in dis- 
putations and disagreeable complaints. To Charles those objections did not 
apply, which had always been opposed to the pecuniary demands of the late 
monarch. It could not be said of him that he had wantonly plunged himself 
into debt, or that he had squandered among his minions the revenues of the 
crown. The money which he solicited was required to carry into execution 
the vote of the last Parliament ; and those who advised the war, could not 
reasonably refuse the funds necessary for the maintenance of that war. In 
the House of Peers many of the Lords, though not formally opposed to the 
court, looked with an evil eye on the ascendancy of George Villiers, Duke of 
Buckingham, and they were ready to vote for any measure, which, by em- 
barrassing the government, might precipitate the fall of the favourite. In 
the Commons the Puritans formed a most powerful phalanx. Austere to 
themselves, intolerant to others, they sought to reform both church and state, 
according to their peculiar notions of scriptural doctrine and scriptural prac- 
tice. The spirit of liberty, too, had been diffusing itself widely amongst the 
people, who, by consequence, were determined to oppose the ancient, and, in 
many instances, exorbitant claims of their monarchs ; and the principles of 
freedom, which they had been imbibing, would no longer allow them to be 
governed by precedents that had their origin in the times of ignorance and 
slavery. Such was the state and temper of the public mind when Charles 
met his first Parliament ; which assembly he thought proper to dissolve as 
soon as he discovered their intention of refusing his just demands. 

He then issued a commission to raise money by borrowing of such per- 
sons as were able to lend ; and privy seals were issued out to all persons 
of substance. The Commissioners (who were noblemen) appointed to collect 
the loan, visited the various towns in the kingdom, and at the town halls, or 
other public buildings of each place, called the opulent inhabitants before 
them, and read the commission to them, setting forth the reasons which the 
King alleged for requiring the loan. The Commissioners then took the 
names of the parties, with the amount of their subscription, or sum imposed 
upon them, together with the names of those who exhibited a disposition to 
excuse the pajrment of the sums imposed. In many places the loan was 
reluctantly complied with, and occasioned considerable disgust, for though 
the proceeding was authorized by many precedents, it was not less a grievance. 
At that period the payment of all fees and salaries was suspended ; and to 
such a state of destitution was the royal household reduced, that, to procure 


provisions for his table, the King was obliged to borrow J^BOOO. of the Cor- 
porations of Salisbury and Southampton, on the joint security of the Lord 
Treasurer and of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.'*' 

The second Parliament met, and was dissolved by the King, without 
granting the necessary supplies to carry on a war which was entered into by 
the advice, and at the request, of those very members who now refused to 
contribute to its proper support. The King was therefore again obliged to 
have recourse to loans ; and a commission was granted to the Archbi^op of 
York, and others, to compound with the Catholics, and agree to dispense 
with the penal laws enacted against them, for stipulated sums of money .f 
At that Ume the Corporations of the maritime towns received orders to pro- 
vide a certain number of armed vessels, in order to equip a fleet Many of 
the seaports complied with this request with great reluctance ; and the fleet 
thus collected, and which consisted of about 100 ships, having on board 
7000 soldiers, sailed from Portsmouth on the 7th of June, 1637. But instead 
of being sent against the King of Spain, to the surprise of almost all his 
subjects, the King now resolving with a rupture with France, sent the fleet, 
under the command of the Duke of Buckingham, on a fruitless expedition 
for the relief of La Rochelle, a maritime town in that kingdom. 

In the third year of this reign, the Lord Lieutenants of all the counties of 
England had orders to put each province and district into a posture of 
defence ; also to be careful that the trained bands (a species of militia) were 
perfectly instructed in the use of arms ; and to see that all able men, from 
sixteen to sixty years of age, were enrolled, that on any sudden occasion, such 
levies might be made of them as should be required. They were likewise to 
take special care that every county provided its share of powder, ball, match, 
lead, &c., and to put them into magazines for the use of their respective 
counties and Corporations to be ready whenever they were called for. 

Soon after this the King and the Lords of his Privy Council received in- 
telligence that the French were fitting out a great fleet, with which to invade 
England, and that the Dunkirkers were likewise making extraordinary pre- 
parations. Orders were now sent to the inhabitants of the diflerent towns 
in the country, to put them into a proper state of defence, with all possible 
dispatch. The Duke of Buckingham, who had all along ruled the King's 
councils, was about this time stabbed at Portsmouth, by John Felton, a lieu- 
tenant in the army, who immediately declared himself the murderer, and 

• Bush worth, vol. i., pp. 196, 197. Rj-roer, x>-iii., p. 181. Sydney Papers, iii. 363. 

♦ Whitelock, p. 7. 


averred that he considered the Dnke an enemy to his country, and, as such, 
deserving to suffer. 

A tax, called tonnage and poundage, was now levied by the King, on all 
merchant ships and goods, without the consent of Parliament, as a right 
belonging to the Grown. In London, where the spirit of resistance had 
already risen to a considerable height, many of the merchants refused to pay 
this tax, alleging that it could only be granted by the Parliament. For per- 
sisting in this refusal, some merchants had their goods seized by the officers 
of the King's customs, and were themselves thrown into prison. The contest 
between privilege and prerogative was now carried on with great acrimony. 
The Parliament, on its being assembled, warmly remonstrated against the 
King's proceedings, and voted the following protestation : — ^That whosoever 
should bring in innovation of religion, popery, or arminianism, and any that 
should advise the taking of tonnage and poundage, not granted by Parliament, 
or that should pay the same, shaU be accounted enemies to the kingdom. 
This protestation was made on the last day of their sitting, and whilst it 
was being voted the door of the House of.Conmions was locked, and the 
Speaker was forcibly held in his chair. During this extraordinary pro- 
ceeding the King had come to the upper house. He sent for the serjeant- 
at-arms, who was not permitted to obey ; he then ordered the usher of the 
black rod to deliver a message from his own mouth ; and that officer having 
been refused permission to enter the House of Commons, was commanded by 
the King to break open the door ; but at that very moment the Commons 
adjourned to the 10th of March. The King, incensed at these proceedings, 
ordered the arrest of several of the most violent of the opposition members, 
and dissolved the Parliament without sending for the Commons. The 
opponents of the King now charged him, his ministers, and judges, with a 
design to trample under foot the liberties of the people ; and Charles was 
firmly convinced that they had conspired to despoil him of the rightful 
prerogatives of the Crown. The Parliament had disobeyed, thwarted, and 
insulted him repeatedly, so he resolved to govern for the future without the 
intervention of the Parliament. And this intention he announced by pro- 
clamation. "We have showed,'* he said, *'by our frequent meeting our 
people, our love to the use of Parliaments ; yet the late abuse having for the 
present driven us unwillingly out of that course, we shall account it pre- 
sumption for any to prescribe any time unto us for Parliaments, the calling, 
continuing, and dissolving of which is always in our power, and shall be 
more inclinable to meet in Parliament again, when our people shall see more 


clearly into our interests and actions."* This measure served only to aggra- 
vate the discontents of the people, who justly considered many of his actions 
as the exertions of arhitrary power. 

In 1630 the King sent forth a proclamation against vile insinuations, and 
lying, treasonable and rebellious reports, industriously spread to render his 
government odious to his people ; and some time after he sent orders to the 
towns that the inhabitants should have a watchful eye over all factious per- 
sons, and take care of the safety of their towns. Both Charles and Laud, 
his adviser, had been accused by the Puritans of harbouring a secret design 
to restore the ancient creed and worship ; but the charge was groundless. 
Those who made it, in their intolerant zeal, mistook moderation for apostacy. 
But Charles conceived it expedient to silence the murmurs of his enemies ; 
80 he carefully excluded all EngHsh Catholics from [the Queen's chapel at 
Somerset House ; he offered in successive proclamations a reward of £100. 
for the apprehension of Dr. Smith, the Catholic Bishop ; and he repeatedly 
ordered the Magistrates, Judges, and Bishops to enforce the penal laws 
against the priests and Jesuits. • 

In the early part of the year 1633, Charles, in imitation of his father, 
resolved to visit his native country ; more especially as some of his Scotch 
subjects had intimated that he thought their Crown not worth a journey; and 
as he had some reason to be apprehensive of secret designs amongst them. 
He was accompanied by a gallant train of English noblemen ; and in his 
progress to the north he visited York, and there received a loyal and cordial 
welcome. He was met on the 34th of May on Tadcaster bridge by the 
Sheriffs, with 120 attendants, who conducted him to the city. At Micklegate 
Bar the Lord Mayor, Recorder, and Aldermen, standing on a scaffold, erected 
for that purpose, saluted him at his entrance, and the Lord Mayor, on his 
knees, at the same time deHvered up the keys of the city, together with the 
sword and mace. These, however, were immediately returned, and the Lord 
Mayor, mounted on horseback, carried the mace before his Majesty; the 
Aldermen, richly dressed, and well mounted, made up the cavalcade, riding 
before the King to the Manor House, or Palace. The next day the King 
dined with the Lord Mayor, at his house in the Pavement, and knighted him,f 
and the Recorder, t The following day he dined with the Archbishop, and 
knighted his son ; and on the fourth day he departed for Scotland. During 
his stay at York, a large silver cup and cover, and a purse, containing £100., 

* Bymer, zix., p. 62. f Sir WiUiam Allenson. • } Sir William Belt 


were presented to him. At Edinburgh he was solemnly crowned, with eveiy 
appearance of affection and duty; and in a Parliament then held, though the 
Scotch strenuously defended the liberties of the kirk, yet they TOted a supply 
to Charles, who, after a stay of five weeks in Scotland, returned to the Queen, 
who then resided at Greenwich. During this tour Charles visited Pontefract, 
where he created Sir John Saville, knt. High Steward of the honour of Pon- 
tefiract; and by letters patent elevated him to the peerage, by the title of 
Baron Saville, of Pontefract. His son was created Earl of Sussex, but the 
£Gimily became extinct in his grandson James.'i' 

During the six years which followed his return from Scotland, England^ 
appeared to enjoy a calm. Charles governed without a Parliament; and not 
only took no pains to allay, but he rather inflamed that feverish irritation 
which the illegality of his past conduct had excited in the minds of his sub- 
jects. Nor was he ignorant of their dissatisfaction; no, he saw it, and 
despised it ; and believing firmly in the divine right of Kings, he doubted 
not that he would be able to bear down the force of public opinion by the 
mere weight of the royal prerogative. 

About the year 1635, the coasts of England were very much infested by 
pirates from different parts, including the Dunkirkers, and some even from 
Sallee and Algiers, who, every summer, committed great depredations, seizing 
ships, carrying off prisoners, and injuring the trade of the nation. The 
Dutch and French mariners, too, had assumed a right to fish on our coasts, 
a proceeding which occasioned much controversy. Charles determined to fit 
out a fleet, and end the dispute by force, and for this purpose, and acting on 
the advice of his Attorney-General Noy, he imposed a tax upon his subjects, 
under the denomination of Ship-money, Though all the judges declared this 
tax to be customary and l^al, yet the nation murmured at it, and paid it 
with reluctance, considering it illegal, because it had not the sanction of 
Parliament. This was the tax that first roused the whole kingdom, and 
determined numbers to fix the bounds, both of the King's prerogative, and 
their own freedom ; and in reality was one of the chief causes of the King's 
ruin. Aided with this tax, however, Charles fitted out a fleet of forty sail of 
ships, under the command of the Earl of Lindsey, and a squadron of twenty 
ships, under the Earl of Essex. This fleet very effectually scoured the 
narrow seas, and protected the trade of England ; and the merchants, whose 
commercial interests had of late so greatly suffered, submitted to pay the tax 
which they disliked. 

« Boothroyd'8 Histoiy of Pontefract, p. 147. 


In 1639 the Scotch were in anus against their Sovereign. They had in 
that kingdom long embraced the Presbyterian form of chnrch govemment, 
and though Bishops were still continued, yet they were treated with very 
little respect or attention. James I. had used his utmost endeavours to im- 
pose Bishops upon the Scots, but died before he could carry that design into 
actual execution ; and Charles, in an unfortunate hour, resolved to complete 
what his father had begun. Whitlocke teUs us, that this ill-judged attempt 
to force the rites and liturgy of the Church of England upon that people, 
'* was the fountain from whence our ensuing troubles sprung." The Scots 
now entered into their celebrated League and Covenant, the great object of 
which was to suppress episcopacy, and, if necessary, to resist the King's au- 
thority in imposing it Charles, looking upon this procedure as an open 
declaration of war, immediately levied an army of 22,000 men, and marched 
on an expedition against the insurgents. He left London on the 27th, and 
arrived at York on the SOth of March, 1639, and there he was received with 
every demonstration of loyalty. He was met at Tadcaster bridge by the 
Sheriffs, who conducted him to Micklegate Bar, where the trained bands of 
the city and Ainsty, clothed in buff coats, scarlet breeches, laced with silver, 
russet boots, black caps and feathers, and amounting to about 600 in number, 
were dravni up, and fired a voUey at his entrance into the city. Here he was 
received by the Lord Mayor and Aldermen with the usual solemnity, and the 
Becorder, on his knees, having deUvered one of those ftilsome, flattering ora- 
tions so peculiar to that age, his Majesty was oondocted with great pomp 
through the city to the Palace of the Manor. On the following day (Sunday) 
the train bands formed a lane, rank and file, for the King to pass through as 
he went to the Cathedral ; and their appearance and conduct so gratified 
him, that he distributed a sum of money amongst them, and also returned 
them his thanks in person."*" 

York and its vicinity being the principal rendezvous for the royal army, 
the King spent nearly a month in that city. '*He went to York," says 
Ghiizot, in his Hutory of the Engliik Rgvohtthn, *' siurrounded with extraor- 
dinary pomp, still infiatuated with the irresistible ascendency of royal mcyesty, 
and flattering himself that to display it would suffice to make the rebels 
return to their duty. The Lords, and a crowd of gentlemen, flocked to York 
as to a festivaL The town and camp presented the appearance of a court 
and tournament, not at all that of an enemy and of war. Charleses vanity 
was delighted with such display." 

* Drake's Eboracum, c. v., p. 187. 


During this visit the King kept the festival, called Mauuday Thursday (the 
Thursday before £a6ter), in the Cathedral, when the Bishop of Ely washed 
the right feet of thirty-nine poor aged men in warm water, and dried them 
with a linen cloth. Afterwards the Bishop of Winchester washed them over 
again in white wine, wiped, and kissed them. This part of the ceremony 
was performed in the south aisle of the Minster. His Majesty then gave to 
each of the poor men several articles of wearing apparel, including shoes and 
stockings, a wooden scale full of claret wine, a jole of salt fish, a jole of 
salmon, and a sixpenny loaf of bread. He also gave them a leathern purse, 
each containing 20s. in money, and in another thirty-nine sHver pennies, 
being the number of his own years. On the following day (Good Friday), 
Drake tells us, that he touched for the King's evil no fewer than 200 persons 
in the Minster ; and ** during the tyme the King touched those that had the 
disease called the evill," writes that historian, " were read these words, * They 
shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover ;' and during the 
tyme the King put about every one of their necks an angel of gold, with a 
white ribbon, were read these words, * That light was the true light which 
lighteneth eveiy man which cometh into the world.* "* On Easter Monday 
the King ordered £70. to be given to each of the four wards of the city, to be 
distributed amongst poor widows ; and on the two following days he touched 
each day 100 persons for the evil, but with what success the historian very 
discreetly chooses not to disclose. During his stay at York he paid a visit 
to Hull, where he was received vrith great pomp and ceremony ;f and before 
he left York his Majesty and his whole court dined with the Lord Mayor, on 
whom, together vrith the Recorder, he conferred the honour of knighthood. 
Having spent nearly a month in York, Charles, and his nobles, at the head 
of the army, proceeded against the Scots. Had the King, at this juncture, 
exerted himself with vigour and decision against the malcontents, his army 
being superior to theirs, it is probable that he might have prevented many of 
his succeeding misfortunes ; but instead of fighting, he unwisely entered on 
a treaty at Berwick ; and terms were agreed on, which neither side cared 
much to preserve. The Covenanters swore obedience to him, but the very 
next year, when the King had disbanded his forces, they raised the standard 
of rebellion, entered England under the command of General Leslie (created 
afterwards Earl of Leven) and the Marquis of Montrose, and proceeding 
to the borders of Yorkshire, they levied a weekly contribution of £5,600. upon 
the inhabitants of the northern counties, and threatened soon to occupy the 
city of York. 

• Drake's Eboiaeom, c. v., p. 187. f See the Histoiy of Hull at subsequent pages. 

2 o 


To arrest the progress of the invaders, the King came in three days from 
London to York, where he was again received with the usual gifts, speeches, 
and ceremonies, and on the 7th of September (1640), he issued out writs to 
summon all the peers of the realm to a great council to be held at York. 
The royal army, commanded by Sir Jacob Astley, and consisting of about 
12,000 foot and 3,000 horse, arrived on the same day that the writs were 
issued ; and being divided into divisions, one body was encamped in Clifton 
Fields and the other in Bishop Fields on each side of the Ouse, and a bridge 
of boats was thrown over the river. About 60 pieces of cannon, with 182 
wi^gons loaded with powder and ball, together with several carriages filled 
with pick axes, spades, shovels, &c., were brought at the same time from the 
magazines at Hull. This proceeding naturally spread an alarm through the 
country, that the King intended to lay aside one of the three estates of 
the realm, and to govern the nation without a House of Commons. The 
King's position at this juncture was exceedingly unpleasant and critical. 
Twice had the commons refused to grant bim supplies to carry out his wars. 
Twice had he abruptly dissolved that assembly, measures which greatly in- 
creased the discontent of the people. Ship money and some other arbitrary 
taxes had been exacted with severity, and many of his subjects made large 
advances to him from their private fortunes, and amongst this number was 
the celebrated Earl of Strafford, Lord Lieutenant of the North, who gave his 
Mfi^esty £20,000 ; but these resources were still insufficient to carry on the 
war against the presumptuous Scots. Sucb was the distressed condition in 
which Charles found himself when he returned to York and called a general 
council of his nobles ; the nation was discontented, the army discouraged, 
the treasury exhausted, and every expedient for supply tried to the uttermost 
On the 10th of September the King assembled the gentlemen of Yorkshire, 
and proposed their paying the trained bands for two months, to which they 
assented. Petitions now poured in upon his Majesty, beseeching him to 
summon a Parliament, and the gentry of this county pressed the measure 
upon him as the only means of restoring and ensuring a continuance of 
tranquillity. On tbe 24th of the same month, the great assembly of peers 
met at the Deanery in York, the hall of which " was richly htmg with 
tapestry for the purpose, and the King*s chair of state was placed upon the 
half pace of the stairs at the upper end of the ha]l."i< In the opening speech 
the King announced his intention to call a Parliament in the course of the 
present year, and he asked coimcil at the same time of the peers, in what 

* Drake's Ebonemn, p. 140. 


way to treat a petition for a redress of grievances which he had received from 
the Scotch invaders, and how his army should be kept on foot and main- 
tained until the supplies from Parliament might be had for that purpose. 
During the sitting of the council at York, which continued till the 18th of 
October, a negotiation was entered into with the Scots, and Ripon was 
appointed as the place of conference. 

This negotiation was conducted by sixteen English peers and eight com- 
missioners appointed by the Covenanters. Under the pretence that this 
conference would prevent them from seeking more abundant quarters, the 
Scots boldly demanded a monthly subsidy of £40,000. The English com- 
missioners, seeing that the King must ultimately yield, concluded separate 
bargains— one with the gentlemen of the north, who, on the faith of a solemn 
promise that they should be reimbursed out of the first supply granted by 
Parliament, consented to raise the weekly sum of £5,600. by county rates on 
the inhabitants of the four northern counties ; and another with the Scots, 
who engaged, as long as that subsidy were paid, to abstain from all acts of 
hostility, and from eveiy species of compulsory demand. The treaty was 
immediately transferred to London, and the King and the peers also hastened 
thither, that they might arrive in time for the opening of Parliament. 

At this juncture, when the accumulated evils of thirty years of misgovern- 
ment brought the kingdom to the verge of a great revolution, Charles, on the 
Srd of November, 1640, met that memorable assembly, which is called in 
history the Long Parliament^ and which was speedily to contend with him 
for the sovereign authority. Its first acts were to oppose the King in the 
election of the Speaker ; to vote down the Council Court at York ; and to 
present articles of impeachment against the President of that court — ^the 
famous Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, and Archbishop Laud, the King's chief 
advisers ; and to pronounce the commissions for the levy of ship-money, and 
all the proceedings consequent on those commissions, to be illegal. The 
Scottish commissioners were received by the opponents of the King as friends 
and deliverers ; and most of the demands of the Covenanters were granted ; 
and while the patriots in the House of Commons engaged to support the 
Scottish army during its stay, and to supply it with a handsome gratuity on 
its departure, the Covenanters stipulated to prolong the treaty, and to detain 
their forces in England till the reforms in church and state, projected by the 
Puritans, should be fully accomplished. It soon appeared that the Scottish 
commissioners acted not only in a political, but also in a reUgious character; 
and while they openly negotiated with the King, they were secretly but 
actively intriguing with the Puritans, to procure ia England the abolition of 


the episcopal, and the substitution of the Presbyterian form of church 

The House of Commons not only refused to supply the King's necessities 
for the repression of the insolence of his Scotch subjects, but it actually ap- 
proved of the conduct of the rebels, and voted two sums, one of £125,000., 
for the charges of the Scottish army during five months, and another of 
JB800,000., under the denomination of " a friendly relief for the losses and 
necessities of their brethren in Scotland."* 

"The government, which, in the hands of Charles, had assumed the 
character of an absolute monarchy, soon became democratical to a degree 
incompatible with the spirit of the constitution. Lieutenants and Deputy 
Lieutenants of counties, who had exercised powers for the national defence, 
not authorized by statute, were declared delinquents. Sheriffs who had been 
employed to assess ship money, and the jurors and ofl&cers of the customs, 
who had been employed in levying tonnage and poundage, as well as the 
holders of monopolies by patents, were brought under the same vague charge, 
and the latter were expelled from Parliament, The judges who had given 
their votes against Hampden, in the trial of ship-money, were accused before 
the peers, and in a few weeks such a revolution was produced in the govern- 
ment, by the House of Commons, seconded by the peers, that the kingly 
power, which had been almost omnipotent, was in danger of being reduced 
to insignificance. These measures naturally placed the Parliament at issue 
with the King, and the differences between the conflicting authorities con- 
tinued to increase during the years 1640 and 1041, tiU an open rupture 
became unavoidable."! 

In the year 1641 the King, accompanied by the Prince of Wales, after- 
wards Charles II. ; the Palsgrave of the Rhine ; the Duke of Lennox ; the 
Marquis of Hamilton ; and several other noblemen, visited York on his way 
to Scotland, where he had summoned a Parliament on the 15th of July, in 
order to ascertain their dispositions towards him. On the day after his 
arrival at York, he dined with the Lord Mayor, J and knighted both him and 
the Recorder.§ Conceiving that his person was in danger, the King de- 
manded a guard from the freeholders of Yorkshire, for his protection, which 
was readily granted. 

The Commons had already stripped him of many of those prerogatives 
which he had oppressively exercised ; and the royal authority was so reduced, 

• Baillie, i., p. 240. + Baines's Gazetteer of Yorkshire. 
I Sir Cliristopher Croft. § Sir Robert Berwick. 


that its total abolition seemed inevitable. The King was even deprived of 
the power of appointing governors, generals, and, in short, whatever related 
to the army ; and that they might deprive him even of the shadow of his 
former authority, they demanded that the power of raising the militia, and 
the nomination of its officers, might be vested in them. To this last de^ 
mand Charles gave a peremptory denial, and both parties from^this time 
prepared for war. 

Amongst the extraordinary events which excited the public mind at this 
period, was the commitment of twelve Bishops. The populace having be- 
come infuriated against the bench of Bishops, frequently assailed them with 
abuse and menaces on their way to the house. On one occasion the cries of 
vengeance in the palace yard were so loud and alarming, that the prelates 
remained after the other lords, till the darkness of the night enabled them to 
steal away to their homes. The next day, Williams, Archbishop of York, 
prevailed on eleven other prelates to join with him in a declaration, which 
was read in the upper house. It stated that the Bishops could no longer, 
without danger to their lives, attend to their duty in Parliament, and that 
they therefore protested against the validity of any proceedings which might 
be passed during their absence. This protest was heard with surprise and 
indignation To retire or remain was at their option, but to claim the power 
of suspending by their absence the proceedings of Parliament, was deemed an 
assumption of sovereign authority. The lower house ridiculously impeached 
the twelve prelates with high treason, Williams boldly professed his readiness 
tib meet the charge, but the others, intimidated by the violence of the times, 
apologised for their conduct. Ten were committed from the house to the 
Tower, two, the Bishops of Durham and Lichfield, on account of their age 
and infirmity, to the usher of the black rod.* 

In the early part of the year 1642, the King gradually withdrew himself 
from the vicinity of the metropolis, first to Newmarket, then info the more 
northern counties, and on the 18th of March in the same year, he, with his 
son Prince Charles, his nephew the Prince Elector, and several noblemen, 
not without considerable risk, arrived in York, where most of the nobility and 
gentry of the north of England, and many from London and the southern 
parts of the kingdom, came to testify their loyalty, and offer him their 
services. During this stay, Charles ordered his state printing presses to be 
erected in the house of Sir H. Jenkins, formerly St William*s CoUege, in the 
yard near the Minster. Notwithstanding the loss of the Courts of Presi- 

• Roshirorth, iv., p. 466. Clarendon, i., p. 850. 


dencj, which the Parliament had lately aholished, York was now the resort 
of nobility and gentry, and it derived no small degree of its lustre from being 
the asylum of the legitimate Sovereign. 

One of the principal objects of the King's journey to York was to secure 
the vast magazines of the fortress of Hull, which consisted of all the arms 
and ammunition of the forces levied against the Scots. With this view he 
sent the Earl of Newcastle to Hull to take possession of the town in his 
M^eBty*s name, but the authorities declined to receive the Earl. On the 
38rd of April, in the same year, his Majesty, attended by his son, and a long 
train of attendants, set out from York for Hull, but Sir John Hotham, the 
governor, perceiving that matters were drawing to a crisis, shut the gates, 
and refused to admit him, though he requested leave to enter with twenty 
persons only.* This was the first open act of hostility preluding that great 
civil war, which, for the space of four years, desolated England, and brought 
her monarch to the block. The House of Commons then wrote letters to 
many of the corporate towns, directing that they should be put in the best 
posture of defence, in order to defend themselves against those whom they 
styled papists, recusants, and disaffected persons. These letters, in which 
the King was represented in a very unfieivourable light, as though his inten- 
tion was to subject the nation to a foreign power, threw the country into the 
utmost consternation. The Parliament then pretended that they had re- 
ceived several informations from abroad, concerning a design to invade 
England, and that the Earl of Digby had got together about 40,000 men at 
Elsinore, in Denmark, and a fleet of ships ready to convey them to Hull. 
Civil war now seemed inevitable. 

The two houses voted a levy of 16,000 men in opposition to the King ; 
the trained bands of London, under General Shippon, professed the strongest 
attachment to the cause ; the arms at Hull were removed to the Tower of 
London; a" forced loan, to bear interest at eight per cent., and paid in money 
or plate, replenished the treasury, and large sums were employed in the 
purchase of stores. The armies which had been raised for the purpose of 
suppressing the rebellion in Ireland, were openly enHsted by the Parliament, 
for their own purposes, and the command of them was given to the Earl of 
Essex, who was appointed Lord General ;f and the Earl of Warwick took 
the command of the fleet. 

• See the History of Eingston-upon-HuIl at Bubseqaent pages of this volume. 

f The pay of the soldiers at that time was Is. 6d. per day for the infantry; 2s. 6d. for 
the cavaliy, viz. — Is. 4d. for the keep of the horse, the rest for the man; the Lord 
General reoeiyed £10., the Qenend of the horse, JS6., per dtij. 


On the other hand, the King, who remained at York, employed himself 
with great activity in rousing his adherents to arms. Numhers of the 
nohility gentry, and clergy, with the members of both Universities, lent him 
money ; and the Queen departed the kingdom, and sold the crown jewels in 
Holland to purchase a cargo of ammunition. The whole kingdom was now 
thrown into confusion. In every shire, almost in every township, were per- 
sons raising men at the same time for the opposite parties. In the southern 
counties the interest of the Parliament was generally predominant ; but the 
King, however, mustered an army of about 4,000 troops, of which about 8,000 
were foot, and 1,000 horse. Negotiations still proceeded. There were many 
at York, and in the Parliament, who still laboured hard to effect an accom- 
modatidtt — ^for though the King's unhappy predilection for arbitrary power, 
had raised him a host of enemies ; his moral virtues had procured him a 
great body of zealous supporters. The Parliament, in answer to the King's 
demand for a reply to certain proposals, which he had made at the com- 
mencement of the year, presented for his acceptance nineteen articles, in 
which the privileges of the Parliament so hx outweighed the prerogatives of 
the crown, that they were deemed wholly inadmissible: — Should I grant 
these demands, said the King, in reply, I may be waited on bare-headed ; 
I may have my hand kissed ; the title of Majesty may be continued to me ; 
and the King's authority signified by both Houses, may still be the style of 
your commands ; I may haye swords and maces carried before me ; and 
pleaae myself with the signs of a crown and a sceptre ; but as to true and 
real power, I should remain but the outside, but the picture, but the sign 
of a King.* 

Shortly after Charles took up his residence at York, the Parliament 
appointed a commission to reside in that city, to strengthen their party and 
to watch the movements of the King ; and on their passing an ordinance for 
embodying the militia, the King ordered his friends to meet him at York, 
whither he directed the several courts to be in future acQoumed* The Lord- 
Keeper Littleton being ordered by the Parliament not to issue the writs, 
made his escape to York, and bringing with him that important mark of sove- 
reignty, the great seal, he joined the royal party, for which he was afterwards 
proclaimed by the Parliament a traitor and a felon. On the d7th of May, 
164S, Charles issued a proclamation, dated from his court at York, appointing 
a public meeting of the nobility and gentry of the neighbourhood, to be held 
on Heworth Moor, on the drd of June. At this meeting, at which 70,000 

* Eoshirorth, iv., pp. 732, 7S5. Qarendoii, i, 654, 647. 


persons were present (40,000 according to Guizot), the King, who was accom- 
panied by his son Prince Charles, and 150 Knights in complete armour^ 
and attended with a guard of 800 soldiers, was received with the loudest 
acclamations of loyalty and respect. In a short address he thanked the 
meeting for the assurances of loyalty and attachment which he had received, 
and explained the particulars of the situation in which he was placed. He 
then returned to the city, where, after keeping his court for more than five 
months, during which time every attempt at negotiation had failed, he re- 
solved to support his authority by arms. His towns, his ships, his arms, his 
money, were taken from him, but there still remained to him a good cause, 
and the hearts of his loyal subjects, which, with God*s blessing, he doubted 
not would recover all the rest. Having constituted Sir Thomas Glemham 
Governor of York, and appointed the Earl of Cumberland supreme com- 
mander of his forces, the King removed his court to Beverley, with a view of 
preparing for an attack upon the fortress of Hull. But after an abortive 
attempt to get possession of that place, he returned to York.i' 

Hostilities soon after commenced with the siege of Portsmouth. Colonel 
Goring, the Governor of that place, an officer of distinguished merit, having 
refused to act on the side of the Parliament, a strong force, under the com- 
mand of the Parliamentary General, the Earl of Essex, appeared before the 
town and besieged it. The King immediately proclaimed that general and 
the officers under him traitors, unless they should return to their duty within 
the space of six days ; the Parliament on their part declared the royal pro- 
clamation a libellous and scandalous paper, and retorted the crime of treason 
on all those by whom it had been advised, and by whom it should he after- 
wards countenanced.! In these circumstances Charles resolved on hostile 
measures. He summoned all his loving subjects north of the Trent, and 
within twenty miles to the south of that river, to meet him in arms at Not- 
tingham, on the 3/2nd, or, according to some, the 25 th of August (1642), as 
he then and there intended to set up his standard. 

Accordingly, on that day the royal standard was erected, and on it was 
painted a hand pointing to a crown, with this motto, " Give to Caesar his 
due." It was carried by a guard of 600 foot, from the castle into a large 
field; the King followed with a retinue of 2,000 men; and the people 
crowded around to hear the proclamation read by the herald-at-arms. This 
ceremony, called the raising of the standard, was deemed equivalent to a 

* See the history of Eingston-upon-Hull at a subsequent page of this volume, 
f Bushworth, vi., pp. 761, 773. Clarendon, i., 711, 715. 


dedaratton of hostilities. At Nottingham the King could muster no more 
than 600 men, hut he was shortly after at the head of three times that 
numher. From that place he despatched to the Parliament the Earl of 
Southampton, Sir John Colepepper» and Sir William Uvedale, with some 
fresh propositions to incline them to a treaty, but in vain ; and after a few 
more messages and answers, all hopes of peace entirely vanished, and the 
nation saw itself involved in all the horrors of intestine war, the most direful 
of national calamities. 

The reader of English history is aware that at this stage of the contro- 
versy between the King' and his opponents, the real liberties of the people 
could no longer be regarded as the cause of quarrel. These liberties had 
already been established by successive acts of the legislature. The dispute 
was now confined to certain concessions, which the Parliament demanded as 
essential to the preservation of those liberties, and which the King refused as 
subversive of the royal authority. The Parliament now possessed the con* 
trol of the public money, the power of impeachment, and the right of meeting 
every third year; and these powers, it was contended by some, formed a 
sufficient barrier against the encroachments on the part of the Sovereign ; 
but others insisted that the command of the army, and the appointment of 
the officers of state, the councillors, and the judges, ought also to be trans- 
ferred, for a time at least, to the two houses. Who then were the authors of 
the civil war? is a question that is often asked. That learned and impartial 
historian. Dr. Lingard, says, in reply to this question, " The answer seems 
to depend on the solution of this other question — ^were additional securities 
necessary for the preservation of the national rights? If they were, the 
blame will belong to Charles ; if not, it must rest with his adversaries. "« 

That there were faults on both sides seems unquestionable ; and it is to be 
especially lamented that the good sense of the monarch had not taught him 
to go along with the general feelings of his people ; but Princes in all ages, 
as Dr. Lingard truly remarks, have been slow to learn the important lesson, 
that the influence of authority must ultimately bend to the influence of 
opinion. *' In most of the conflicts which have divided nations against them* 
selves, ** says a distinguished writer, " one side or other has been so wicked, 
or both so worthless, or the points at issue so personal and valueless, that the 
redtal of their progress and results, merely amuses by variety of incident, or 
disgosis by sameness of depravity ; but in the principles and fortunes of the 
Cavalifln and Roundheads, we still experience a real and vital oonoem. The 

* lingsxd'i Hiatofy of KngJand, voL z., p. 70, fop. 8vo. 

3 H 


warmth of passions, though abated, is not extinguished ; we feel as if our 
own liberty, our own allegiance, our own honour and religion were involved 
in the dispute. "><< 

The long and fruitless altercations being at an end, and war being inevi- 
table, the Parliament placed the command of the militia, and authority to 
raise forces in eveiy county, in such hands as they esteemed trustworthy. 
Each army in its composition resembled the other. The command of the 
Royalists was entrusted to the Earl of Lindsey ; and that of the Parliamen- 
tary forces, as we have seen, to the Earl of Essex. In the meantime. Sir 
William Waller had reduced Portsmouth, while Essex concentrated his force, 
amounting to 15,000 men, in the vicinity of Northampton. The first pitched 
battle between the adherents of the King and Parliament, was fought on the 
plain of Kineton, near Edge-hill, in Warwickshire, on Sunday, the 23rd of 
October, 1642, when both armies claimed the honour, but neither reaped the 
benefit, of victory. Among the distinguished persons who took part in this 
bloody conflict, were the King, Prince Rupert, Earl of Lindsey, the Earl of 
Essex, Lords Saye, Digby, Roberts, Carnarvon, Brooks, Byron, Wharton, 
Wilmot, Mandeville, Fielding, Willoughby, Goring, &c. ; Sirs W. Fairfax, 
John Meldrum, Philip Stapleton, James Ramsay, W. Balfore, Jacob Astley, 
Edward Vemey, George Lisle, William Constable, &c. ; Hampden, Holies, 
Ballard, Grantham, and, according to some writers, Oliver Cromwell. The 
Earl of Lindsey was slain, fighting on foot at the head of his men. This 
brave old General's prayer, before the advance to the conflict, is said to have 
been as follows : — ** Lord, thou knowest how busy I must be this day ; if 
I forget thee, do not thou forget me. March on boys !*' 

Essex withdrew to Warwick, and thence to Coventry ; and Charles, having 
compelled the garrison of Banbury to surrender, marched onwards to the city 
of Oxford. The limits of this work will not admit of even a passing notice 
of the battles which took place in several of the southern counties ; we must 
therefore confine our remarks to the proceedings which occurred in the dis- 
trict to which this volume is devoted. Alas ! that the fair plains of this fine 
county should be again the scene of bloody strife between Englishmen only ; 
that her fertile fields should be once more deluged with the blood of thou- 
sands of its best nobles and hardiest sons. 

The minority of the northern nobles were attached to the King^s party, 
and probably Ferdinando, Lord Fairfax, was the most powerful adherent of 
the Parliament in those parts. Accordingly, he received their commission 

• Hartley Coleridge's Biographia Borealis. 


(still ronnmg in the King*s name) to be General of the forces in the north, 
and his 8on» Sir Thomas, was appointed General of horse under him. Sir 
Thoioas Fairfax, who appears to have been endowed with a never-tiring zeal 
for the cause in which he was engaged, performed his first exploit in the 
autumn of 164d, bj driving a small detachment of Royalists from Bradford 
to Leeds, whither, in conjunction with Captain Hotham, he marched a few 
days after, and compelled the enemj to retire upon York. The great strength 
of the Parliamentarians lay in the large manu&cturing towns of the West 
Bidix^, and the chief supplies of their army were drawn from that district ; 
and that army having increased, 1,000 men were marched to Tadcaster 
and Wetherby to guard the passes of the Wharfe, and thus protect the friendly 
districts of the west . 

The Earl of Newcastle, who had raised a considerable force in the north, 
for the protection of the northern counties, now marched to the assistance of 
the loynd party, and on the 80th of November he arrived at York with 6,000 
men and ten pieces of artillery. The Earl of Cumberland then resigned his 
commission to Newcastle, who, after having stayed only three days in York 
to refresh his troops, marohed out with 4,000 men and seven pieces of cannon, 
to attack the enemy at Tadcaster, whero Lord Fairfax was posted with 700 
troops."*^ At the same time the Earl sent his Lieutenant-General, the Earl 
of Newport, with 3,000 men, to attack Wetherby. At Tadcaster the battle 
was contested, with equal obstinacy, but with much less bloodshed, than the 
memorable one fought near the same place, between the fierce adherents of 
the rival houses of York and Lancaster. (See page 156.) The action to<^ 
place on the Srd of December, 1643. The town being untenable, the Par- 
liamentarians resolved to draw out, and select a post of more advantage ; but 
before they could do so, the King*s forces attacked a position above the bridge, 
in which was a small body of foot to cover the retreat, in so brisk a manner, 
that the whole force drew back to maintain that ground. The Earl began 
his attack about eleven o*clock in the forenoon, and the fighting continued 
till dusk without intermission, during which time 40,000 musket shots were 
discharged, besides the fire from the aitilleiy ; but the slaughter bore no 
proportion to the shot expended ; as the number killed on both sides did not 
exceed 300. The disparity of numbers caused Lord Fairfax to draw off his 
forces to Selby and Cawood in the night, and the following morning the 
Royalists marohed into Tadcaster without opposition. The only person of 
note who fell in this battle was Captain Lister, who was shot by a bullet in 

* Memoirs of Sir Thomas Ffiirfaz. 


the head.* He was a yaluahle officer, and a great loas to his pairty. The 
garrison of Wetherby consisted of 800 foot and 40 horse, commanded by 
Sir Thomas Fairfax ; and this small force was sorprised early one morning 
by a body of 800 men, under Sir Thomas Glemham. Under the cover of 
darkness and the woods around, the Royalists arriTed close to the town 
without giving any alarm, until they were ready to enter. The guards were 
found sleeping at their post, ''for," says Sir Thomas, ''at the beginning of 
the war men were as impatient of duty as they were ignorant of it." The 
General hQwever was awake, and, with the assistance of a few men, held the 
enemy at bay till more of the guards were got to arms. A smart engage- 
ment then ensued, in which the assailants were repulsed. The attack was 
soon renewed, bat in the midst of the conflict Fairfax's magazine was blown 
up, and produced so tremendous an explosion, that the RoyaUsts believing 
that the enemy had cannon, began to retreat, and retired towards York, and 
were ptirsued by Sir Thomas with his small body of horse, who took some 
prisoners. Sir Thomas Gleroham returned to his garrison at York. In this 
engagement Major Carr of the Royalists, and Captain Atkinson and a few 
of the Parliamentarians were slain. Seven men were blown up by the pow- 
der explosion. The Earl of Newport, on arriving at Wetherby, found no 
enemy to contend with. Sir Thomas Fairfax having previously joine4 his 
father at Tadcaster. 

In the beginning of the year 1643, Leeds, Wakefield, Halifex, Skipton, 
Knaresborough, and several other towns and garrisons against the King, 
were reduced to his Majesty's subjection, by the valorous conduct of the Lord 
General (the Earl of Newcastle). Bradford stood two vigorous sieges, but 
surrendered when the ammunition of the fortress was exhausted. Then, but 
not till then, did Sir Thomas Fairfax, who conducted the d^ence, ofifer to 
capitulate ; but Newcastle having refused to grant the conditions. Sir Thomas, 
with fifty mounted troopers, cut his way through the lines of the Royalists, 
and made his retreat, but his wife and most of the soldiers were taken pri- 
soners.! By the various chances of war, several of those towns were lost and 

• Thoresby mentions the following instance of filial affection relating to the death of 
this gentleman : — Some years after the battle, the Captain's son was passing through 
Tadcaster, and finding the sexton digging in the choir, enquired where his father, Cap- 
tain Lister, was buried. To which the sexton replied by showing him a scull just dug 
up, which he averred was the head of the Captain. On examining the scull, a bullet 
was found lodged in it, and this testimony to the truth of the gravedigger's words, so 
struck the young man, that he sickened at the sight, and died soon after. 

t Lady Fairfax was shortly after sent back to her husband, by the Marquis of New- 
castle, in his own coach, 



won again, sometimes by one party, sometimes by another, so that in spite of 
every precaution, Yorkshire was for some years a scene of bloodshed and 

It was chiefly owing to the indefifttigable exertions of the Queen (Henrietta 
Maiia, dav^hter of Heniy IV. of France) that Charles had been enabled to 
meet his opponents in the field. It has already been observed that her 
M^esty departed for Holland in the spring of 1642, where she pledged her 
own and the crown jeweb for the purpose of procuring arms and ammunition 
for her husband's adherents. During her residence in Holland she had 
repeatedly sent the King supplies of miUtaiy stores, and, what he equally 
wanted, of veteran officers to train and discipline his forces. The Queen 
having embarked at Schuiling, near the Hague, under convoy of seven Dutch 
ships of war, commanded by Admiral Van Tromp, arrived at Bridlington 
Bay on the 20th of February, 1643, and after remaining at anchor three 
days, the squadron entered the harbour. Her Majesty brought with her 
thirty pieces of brass and two of iron ordnance, with small arms for the 
equipment of 10,000 men ; and though four of the Parliament's ships had 
been croizing, with a view to intercept her, yet she was so fortunate as to 
effect a landing whilst the enemy's ships were riding at anchor off Newcastle. 
Batten, the Parliament's Vice-Admiral, having notice of her Miyesty's arri- 
val, immediately weighed anchor, but did not gain the bay tmtil the night 
after the Dutch vessels had entered the port. Chagrined at his disap- 
pointment, he drew his vessels directly opposite to the quay, and, on the 
morning of th@ 24th, commenced a heavy cannonade, in hope of firing the 
ammunition vessels, and the house in which the Queen was lodged. Some 
of the balls actually penetrated the room in which her Majesty reposed, and 
compelled her, with the Duchess of Bichmond, and the other ladies of her 
retinue, to leave their beds, and, according to some authorities, " barefoot 
and bareleg," seek for safety beneath the precipitous bank of the stream now 
known as Bessingby Beck, which empties itself into the harbour. 

The Queen herself has transmitted to posterity an interesting detail of the 
whole event, in the following letter to the King. It is taken from a volume 
in the British Museum, marked 7379, in the Harleian Catalogue. 

"Burlington, 25th Febraary, 1643. 
" My dear heart, 

"As soon as I landed, I dispatched Progress to yon; hat having 

launt to-day that he was taken by the enemy, I send this bearer to give you an 

account of my arrival, which has been very saccessAil, thank Ood; for as rough as the 

sea was when I first crossed it, it was now as calm, till I came within a few leagues of 

Newcastle; and on the coast the wind changed to N.W., and obliged ns to make for 


Burlington Bay, vhere, after two days lying in the road, oar cavalry arriTed. I imme* 
diately landed, and the next morning the rest of the troops came in. Qod, who protected 
me at sea, has also done it at land; for this night four of the Parliament ships came in 
without our knowledge, and at four o'clock in the morning we had the alarm, and sent 
to the harhour to secure our hoats of ammunition ; but about an hour after these four 
ships began so Airious a cannonading, that they made us get out of our beds, and quit 
the village to them ; at least us women, for the soldiers behaved very resolutely in pro- 
tecting the ammunition. I must now play the Captain Bessus, and si>eak a little of 
myself. One of these ships did me the favour to flank my house, which fronted the 
pier, and before I was out of bed, the balls whistled over me, and you may imagine I 
did not like the music. Every boddy forced me out, the balls beating down our houses; 
BO, dressed as I could, I went on foot some distance from the village, and got shelter in 
a ditch, like those we have seen about Newmarket ; but before I could reach it the balls 
sung merrily over our heads, and a seijeant was killed twenty paces from me. Under 
this shelter we remained two hours, the bullets flying over us and sometimes covering 
us with earth. At last the Dutch Admiral sent to tell them, that if they did not give 
over he would treat them as enemies. This was rather of the latest, but he excused 
himself on account of a fog. Upon this the Parliament ships went off, and, besides, the 
tide ebbed and they would have been in shoal water. As soon as they were withdrawn 
I returned to my house, not being willing that they should boast of having driven me 
away. About noon I set out for the town of Burlington, and all this day we have been 
landing our ammunition. It is said, that one of the Parliament Captains went before to 
reconnoitre my lodgings, and I assure you he had marked it exactly, for he always fired 
at it. I can say with truth, that by land and sea, I have been in some danger, but God 
has preserved me; and I confide in his goodness that he will not desert me in other 
things. I protest to you, in this confidence, I would &ce cannon, but I know we must 
not tempt God. I must now go and eat a morsel, for I have taken nothing to day but 
three eggs, and slept very little." 

" No action of the war/* says Dr. Lingard, '* was more bitterly condemned 
by the gallantry of the Cavaliers, than this immanly attack on a defenceless 
woman, the wife of the Sovereign." In order to secure the Queen from any 
further attack, Lieut.-Gen. King erected a batteiy on each side of the port» 
but the danger and insult not having been repeated, the utility of the works 
were happily never proved. In expectation of the Queen's arrival, the EarL 
of Newcastle had drawn a part of his army in that direction, in order to pro- 
tect her from the attacks of her enemies ; and immediately upon her arrival, 
she was waited upon by the Marquis of Montrose, and Lord Ogilby with two 
troops of horse. Sir Marmaduke Langdale, Sir John Ramsden, and others of 
the King's friends. 

After remaining at Bridlington for about nine days, the Queen was safely 
conducted to York. She slept at North Burton on the first night, at Malton 
the second night, and arrived in York on the 8th of March, with three 
coaches, and an escort of eight troops of horse and fifteen companies of foot. 
The military stores were conveyed from Bridlington en route to York in a 


long train of 500 carts and 1000 horses. For his attention to the Queen on 
this occasion as well as for his devotion to the cause of the King, the Lord 
General, as the Earl of Newcastle was called, was created a Marquis. When 
the Queen aniyed at York, the King was staying at Oxford, and to pursue 
her journey thither at that time, would he to throw herself into the hands of 
her opponents. She accordingly remained in Yorkshire, winning the hearts 
of the inhabitants by her affiibility , and quickening their loyalty by her words 
and example.* She afterwards marched without opposition to Oxford, 
bringing to her husband, who met her at Edge-lull, a powerful reinforcement 
of men, artilleiy, and stores. 

In Yorkshire several important militaty events took place in the course of 
the year 1648. The Earl, now Marquis of Newcastle, made a kind of tri- 
umphal march through the county. He took Bradford and retook Wakefield 
for the King. Eotherham was in possession of the enemy, and refusing to 
yield, he commenced an attack upon it, and took it by storm. Sheffield too, 
which had previously been taken possession of for the Parliament, by Sir 
John Gell, was re-captured by him, and he defeated Lord FairfiEuc at Atherton 
or Adderton Moor. He then recovered Gainsborough, in Lincolnshire, from 
the army under Cromwell ; and intended to proceed southward, but, we are 
told by Lingard, his followers refused to accompany him any further in 
that direction. They had, he says, been embodied for the defence of the 
northern counties, and could not be induced to extend the limits of that ser- 
vice for which they had been originally enrolled. Had they advanced and 
joined the King's army in the south, in all probability an end would have 
been put at once to the war, by the reduction of London ; but in consequence 
of their refusal to march southward, the King'was deprived of one half of 
his expected force, and was compelled to adopt a new plan of operations. 

In the north, success and defeat appeared to alternate between the con- 
tending parties, and no decisive advantage had as yet been gained by either; 
yet on the whole, the balance of victory seemed to incline in the £ang*s 

From the commencement of the difference between the King and the Par- 
liament, a thorough understanding existed between the chief of the Scottish 
Covenanters, and the*principal of the English Reformers. Their views were 
similar, their object the same. The Scots had indeed fought and won, but 

• Clarendon, ii., p. 148. 

f For an accoant of the Siege of Hull, which took place about this time, see the his- 
tory of that town at subsequent pages of this volume. 


they held the fruit of their victory by a doubtful tenure, as long as the fata 
of their " English brethren *' depended on the uncertain chances of war. 
Both policy and rehgion prompted them to interfere ; the triumph of the 
Parliament would secure their liberties. The Parliamentarians first invited 
them to interpose their mediation, which they knew would be so little £Biyour« 
able to the King ; then commissioners were sent to Edinburgh with ample 
powers to treat of a union and confederacy with the Scottish nation ; and a 
league and covenant was framed, in which the subscribers engaged mutually 
to defend each other against all opponents. 

This formidable union struck alarm into the breasts of the Royalists* 
They had found it difficult to maintain their ground against the Parliament 
alone ; they felt unequal to the contest with a new and powerful enemy. By 
means of £100,000., which they received from England, the Scottish levies 
were soon completed ; and in the early part of the year 1644, an army of 
30,000 men, under the command of their old General, the Earl of Leven, 
crossed the Tweed at Berwick, and attempted to surprise the town of New- 
castle before it could be put in a posture of defence. But in this they were 
disappointed, for the Lord General had arrived at that fortress the day before 
it was summoned by Leven ; and the Scots, leaving six regiments before the 
place, crossed the Tyne, and entered Sunderland on the 4th of March. The 
Boyalists, to the number of 14,000, hovered upon their march.* 

Yorkshire being left with but 8,000 or 4,000 men for its protection, the 
Parliament ordered Sir Thomas Fairfax, with Lord Fairfax, his father, to 
attack this small force, which was commanded by Colonel Bellasis, the son 
of Lord Falconberg. The two parties encounted each other at Selby on the 
11th of April, and in the action the Royalists were entirely defeated. The 
Parliamentarians had their army in three divisions ; the first was led by Lord 
Fairfax, the second by Sir John Meldrum, and the third by Colond Bright. 
The cavalry was commanded by Sir Thomas Fairfax. After some hard 
fighting, the Royalists (who had possession of the town) were beaten from 
their defences, and Sir Thomas, having forced open a barricade, obtained an 
entrance between the houses and the river, where he met with a body of the 
enemy's horse, which he charged and routed, when they fled across the river 
by a bridge of boats towards York. Another body of horse quickly charged 
Sir Thomas's pkrty, and after a desparate struggle, the Royalists were beaten 
back, and Colonel Bellasis taken prisoner. The main body of Parliament- 
arians now entered the town, and the greatest part of the King's forces were 

• Bashwortii, vol. v., p. 600. 


either slam or taken prisoners. This victory made the Parliament masters 
of the midland parts of Yorkshire. The inhabitants of York, hearing of the 
captore of Selbj, were in great fear and consternation, and implored the 
Marquis of Newcastle, who had been keeping the Scots at bay, to march 
speedily to their assistance, or their important city would be lost to the 
royal cause. The Marquis at once fell back to its relief; and the Scots 
having joined the forces of Lord Fairfisa at Wetherby, the united army 
marched to Yoric, and commenced the si^e or blockade of that city, on the 
19th of April, 1644. 

The combined forces of the Parliament and the Scottish General being 
quite inadequate for the siege of this well-fortified and strongly-manned city, 
a deputation, composed of the Earls of Crawford and Lindsey, and Sir 
Thomas Fairfiu, was sent to the Earl of Manchester, desiring his co-opera- 
tbn, to which he willingly consented. Previous to the arrival of Manchester 
the besiegers numbered 16,000 foot and 4,000 horse — a force not sufficiently 
numerous to invest the city ; but that General brought with him an army of 
6>000 foot and 8,000 horse, of which last the fiunous Oliver Cromwell was 
liieutenant-General ; and three sides of the city were completely invested, 
the north side remaining open. Manchester's division, with twelve pieces of 
cannon, took a position near Bootham Bar, towards Clifton. The besieging 
force had now three Generals, Manchester, Leven, and Fairfiax, who occupied 
difiiarent positions around the walls ; and the siege was soon vigorously prose- 
cuted. Several batteries were opened against the city ; and especial mention 
may be made of those on the rising grounds called Garrow and Lamel MiU 
HiU, out of Walmgate Bar, where four pieces of cannon played almost inces- 
santly on the tower, castle, and town ; while the garrison and armed citizens, 
from their different platforms, kept up a heavy fire on the works of the 
beaiegerB. There were also batteries on the Bootham side. The Earl of 
Manchester made an attack near Walmgate Bar, and took possession of the 
church of St. Nicholas, but was soon obliged to retire ; the Scots seized, near 
Micklegate Bar, a convoy of cattle, which was about to enter the city ; and 
many smart skirmishes took place, through the exertions of the besiegers to 
preserve the houses in the suburbs for their own convenience (the inhabitants 
having withdrawn to the city), which the besieged set fire to. 

For some time the work of destruction was carried on " with great gallantry 
and spirit,** and with varied success. Charles, who was at that time in the 
south, at the head of an inferior force, endeavouring, by some skilful ma- 
noeuvres, to escape from the two divisions of the Parliamentarian army, under 
Essex and Waller, saw with dismay the danger which threatened him in the 

S I 


north. The fall of York would most certainly deprive him of the northern 
counties, and the subsequent junction of the besieging army with his oppo- 
nents in the south, would constitute a force against which it would be useless 
to struggle. His only resource was in the courage and activity of his nephew. 
Prince Rupert,'*' who had recently driven the Parliamentarians from before 
Newark, and reduced Stockport, Bolton, and LiverpooL He ordered that 
commander to collect all the force in his power, to hasten into Yorkshire to 
fight the enemy, and to keep in mind that two things were necessary for the 
preservation of the crown, both the relief of the city of York, and the defeat of 
the combined army. On the receipt of the royal command, Rupert took with 
him a portion of his own men, some regiments lately arrived from Ireland, 
and reinforcements joined him on his march. Newcastle, who was in daily 
expectation of the arrival of Rupert, had recourse to a nue to gain time. 
That wily General endeavoured, by a pretended treaty with the besiegers, to 
direct their attention from further attacks. A cessation was agreed upon, 
commissioners met, and after a week's deliberation, hostilities recommenced 
on the 15th of May. The besiegers renewed their assaults on the city with 
redoubled vigour. The Earl of Manchester's forces undermined St. Maiy's 
Tower at the north-east corner of the Manor; and Colonel Crawford, a 
Scotchman, sprung the mine, which demolished the Tower, and buried a 
great many persons in the ruins. He then with his cannon made a breach 
in the wall lower down in Marygatc, and having entered, many of the soldiers 
scaled two or three walls, and took possession of the Manor. 

This occurred on Trinity Sunday, when most of the officers were at the 
Cathedral ; but the alarm given by the explosion of the mine, caused them 
to run from the church to their posts. A party of the garrison, too, issued 
out by a private sally-port, entered the Manor House, and cut off the retreat 
of the enemy. A smart conflict ensued, in which about fifty of the Pariia- 
mentarians were killed, and 350 made prisoners. Sir Philip Byron, Colonel 
Huddlestone, and Mr. Samuel Breary, were slain on the side of the garrison. 
The latter gentleman was Captain of a company of volunteer citizens, and 
son of one of the Aldermen. On the 34th of June, a party of the garrison, 
consisting of about 600 men, sallied out firom Monk Bar, and furiously as- 
saidted the Earl of Manchester's quarters ; but they were soon driven back 
with considerable loss.f The siege still continued with all possible vigour, 
an almost incessant fire was continued day and night, both by the besiegers 

* Prince Hapert was a younger son of Frederick, Frinoe Palatine of the Bhine, by 
the Princess Elizabeth, sister of BCing Charles I. of England. 

f Ex. MS. 


and the besieged ; and so loyal were the people of York to their Sovereign, 
we are told bj Drake, that the women assumed a masculine courage, and, 
despising fatigue and danger, contributed much to the defence of the city. 
The supply of fresh provisions having been cut off by a line of circumvalla- 
tion drawn round the city, the prices were excessively high before the end of 
the siege. Mutton sold for Ids. a quarter ; beef, at 4s. per stone ; pork, at 
7s. ; bacon, at 4s. ; eggs, at 3d. each ; fresh butter, at 2s. 8d. per pound ; 
and oatmeal, 3s. 8d. per peck. But the magazine was well stored with salt 
provisions, grain, and liquors. 

On the evening of the SOth of June, the besiegers to their surprise and 
consternation, received intelligence that Prince Bupert, with an army of 
30,000 men* was advancing to the relief of the city, and would quarter that 
night at Enaresborough and Boroughbridge, within eighteen miles of York. 
Conscious of their inability to contend with him in that situation, the Psur- 
liamenVs leaders held a council of war, at which it was resolved to raise the 
siege. Accordingly, on the 1st of July they drew off from their entrench- 
ments before the city, and marched to Hessay Moor, about seven miles west 
of York, and there the army was drawn up in order of battle, expecting the 
Prince would make that his way to the city. But his Highness, aware of 
the movement, avoided the conflict by an exertion of great military skill. 
He caused only a party of horse to face the enemy at Skip-bridge, where they 
might secure their retreat over the Ouse at Nun-Monkton ; and interposed 
the Ouse between the enemy and the main body of his army. The latter 
spent that night on the north side of the river, in the Forest of Galtres, near 
Poppleton ferry; whilst the Prince, with about 200 horse, rode on to York, 
where his arrival produced the greatest demonstrations of joy. A council of 
war was immediately held — and here we would pause to remark — ^that had 
the Prince not been too precipitate, he might not only have relieved the city, 
bat he might have established the royal cause on a basis too strong for re- 
bellion to shake. In the council the Marquis of Newcastle gave it as his 
decided opinion, that it was inexpedient at that moment to hazard an en- 
gagement with the enemy ; especially as in two days he expected Colonel 
Clavering, with a reinforcement of 3,000 men from the north, and 2,000 
drawn out of several garrisons. Besides, he added, that he had certain in- 
telligence that dissension prevailed amongst the Parliamentarian Generals, 
and that they were about to separate.! 

• Rashworth, vol. v., p. 631. 
f Mem. Sir T. Fairfiix. Sewetutie's Life, by the Duchess. 


The Marquis proved correct in his remarks, hut the daring and impetaons 
Prince, whose subsequent rashness was the cause of so many misfortunes to 
the monarch, and whose martial ardour was not sufficiently tempered with 
prudence, stated that he had received positive orders from the King, then at 
Oxford, to bring the enemy to immediate action.* Accordingly, Rupert, 
with his forces, marched out of York on the following day, the 2nd of July, 
and his van came up with the enemy just as they had broken up with the 
intention of proceeding to Tadcaster.f Rupert is said by some to have passed 
a part of his army over the Ouse at Poppleton, by means of a bridge of boats 
made by the Scots ;l and to have entered with his whole army into Hessay 
Moor, which the Parliamentarians had hardly quitted. He, however, pur- 
sued them with such rapidity, that his vanguard almost overtook their rear 
near the village of Long Marston. Both parties soon began to draw up 
in order of battle; the Prince possessing himself of the principal part of 
the Moor, the Parliamentarians were obliged to range their forces in a large 
field of rye, at the end of the village of Marston, fronting the Moor. This 
being a rising ground, Rupert sent a party to dislodge them, but the Royalists 
were driven back, and that com>field remained in the possession of the 
enemy. Both armies, in accordance with the military tactics oi the age, 
were drawn up in line, the infantry in three divisions, with strong bodies of 

* The following extract from the letter of the King, and whioh Bapert would seem to 
have regarded as containing an imperative command to fight the enemy at York, cer- 
tainly excalpates the latter from the charge usually hrought against him, of fighting 
without orders : — '* But now I must give you the true state of my afihirs, which, if their 
condition be such as enforces me to give you more peremptory commands than I would 
willingly do, you must not take it ill. If York be lost, I shall esteem my crown little 
else, unless unsupported by your sudden march to me, and a miraculous conquest in the 
south, before the effects of the northern power be found here; but if York be relieved, 
and you beat the rebels' armies of both kingdoms, which are before it, then, but other- 
wise not, I may possibly make a shift upon the defensive to spin out time, until you 
come to assist me. Wherefore I command and conjure you, by the duty and afi*ection 
which I know you bear me, tliat, all new enteri)rises laid aside, you immediately march, 
according to your first intention, with all your force to the relief of York ; but if that be 
either lost, or have freed themselves from the besiegers, or that for want of powder, you 
cannot undertake that work, that you immediately march with your whole strength to 
Worcester, to assist me and my army, without which, or your having relieved York, by 
heating the Scots, all the successes you con afterwards have, most infallibly will be use- 
less unto me." — Evelyn's Memoirs^ voL v.. Octavo edition, p» 121. 

} Sir Thomas Fairfax says, " we were divided in our opinions what to do ; the English 
were for fighting, the Scots for retreating, to gain, as they alleged, both time and place 
of more advantage ; this being resolved upon, we marched away towards Tadcaster." 

{ Others assert that the army crossed the ferry, which at the time was fordable. 


oavalxy on each flank. The Eing*s forces amounted to 14,000 foot, 9,000 
horse, and 25 pieces of ordnance ; and the number on the other side is vari- 
ooflly estimated. Some writers state that it was nearly equal in number to 
the Royalist army. Sir Thomas Fairfax says that its number was somewhat 
greater than that of the King's forces ; whilst others state that it reckoned 
40,000 soldiers. There was this peculiarity in the arrangement of the Par* 
liamentarians, that in each division the English and the Scots were inter- 
mixed, to preclude all occasion of jealousy or dispute. The right wing of the 
Parliament's army was placed near Marston town end, having the village on 
their right, fronting the east; and as their horse and foot came up, they formed 
their battalia and left wing, endeavouring to gain as much to the left as they 
could ; so that at last their lines extended from Marston to Tockwith^ and, 
as we have said, fronted the Moor. The position chosen by the Parliament- 
arians was an advantageous one. On the right, the village of Marston secured 
them against being outflanked on that side ; extending westward, the array 
passed across Marston field, a large enclosure cultivated in common, where 
many of the farmers held pieces of land, at that time bearing a crop of lye, 
which would then be nearly ready for the harvest This ground is con- 
dderafoly elevated above the Moor, to which it slopes gently down, but so 
easily, that a horseman might gallop up or down without any inconvenience. 
Close to the village of Marston, a place is shown where it is said that the 
hedges were cut down to make a way for the Parliamentarian army to pass, 
and this spot is now called " Cromwdl's Qap." 

A Htde further west from Marston, where the land has its highest eleva- 
tion, is the spot where tradition points out the position held by Cromwell ; a 
clump of trees stood there some time since, now all felled but one, which has 
been left (though dead) to point out the station of the grim Ironsides. The 
position more to the left, towards the village of Tockwith, being nearly level, 
presented fewer points of advantage, and this latter place secured the left 
flank from being turned. The troops, standing with their backs to the south, 
would have an extensive view of the country to the north and east, over the 
level plain and rural villages of the Ainsty, to the towers and walls of York. 
The right wing of the Parliamentarian army, extending to and resting on 
the village of Marston, consisted of the Yorkshire horse (but newly raised), 
commanded by Sir Thomas Fairfax, a man of known valour and resolution ; 
three regiments of Scottish horse, commanded by the Earl of Dalhousie, the 
Earl of Eghnton, and Lord Balgony, forming his reserve. Next to them 
was a body of infiemtry consisting of Lord Fair£GUL*s foot, and two brigades of 
the Scottish horse for a reserve. The main body, consisting chiefly of mus- 


keteers and pikemen, was commanded bj the three generals Lord Fair£BLx» 
the Earl of Manchester, and the Earl of Leven. The left wing was com- 
posed of the whole of Manchester's cavalry, under the command of Lieut. 
Gen. Cromwell, among whom were his tried and trusty Ironsides (a name 
first bestowed upon them in this battle) with three regiments of Scottish 
horse, commanded by Major Gen. Lesley ; and upon their left, near a cross 
ditch where the Royalists had a regiment of foot were the Berwickshire 
dragoons under Colonel FrizelL This wing extended to the village of Tock- 
with, and the whole army was drawn up in large bodies well supported by 
artillery. The field word of the Parliamentarian troops was " God with 
us." Previous to the attack they were heard singing psalms. 

The King's army was drawn up in a line opposite, on the open moor, 
partly protected by broken ground, ditches, and furze bushes. The left wing, 
fronting the position of Sir Thomas Fairfax, was led by Prince Rupert in 
person.i^ The right, opposed to Cromwell, was led by Sir Charles Lucas and 
Col. Hurry ; the main body by the Generals Goring, Porter, and Tilliard. 
It is not certain what particular charge the Marquis of Newcastle had this 
day, though it is certain he was engaged very valiantiy in the battle Some 
writers state that he had no command, but acted merely as a volunteer, with 
many more gentiemen equally disgusted with Rupert's haughty conduct 
The field word of the Royalists was " God and the King." 

*' When both armies were completely drawn up, it was after five in the 
evening, and nearly another hour and a half passed with litde more than a 
few cannon shots. Newcastle considered all was over for that day, and had 
retired to his carriage to prepare himself for rest for whatever might betide 
on the morrow. Even Rupert and Cromwell are believed to have expected 
that their armies woidd pass the night on the field. It was a bright summer 
evening, and the calm beauty of the heavens above left light enough still for 
the work of destruction to proceed, and that mighty host, 46,000 men, children 
of one race, subjects of one King, to mingle in bloody strife, and lay thou- 
sands at rest, * to sleep the sleep that knows no waking,' that lovely night of 
June, on Long Marston Moor. It has been surmised, with considerable 
probability, that a stray cannon shot, which proved fieital to young Walton, 
OHver Cromwell's nephew, by rousing in him every slumbering faeling of 
wrath and indignation, mainly contributed to bring on the general engage- 
ment. Certain it is, that he was the first to lead his men on to the attack. 

• Some writers assert that the left wing was led by the Marquis of Newcastle, whilst 
the right wiJDg was commanded by Prince Bapert. 


It was within a quarter to seven on that cahn evening, when the vast array 
that spread along the wide area of Marston Moor began to be stirred by 
rapid movements to the front. Along a considerable part of the ground that 
lay immediately between the advanced posts of the Parliamentary forces and 
the Royalist army, there ran a broad and deep ditch, which served to protect 
either party from sudden surprise. Towards this, a body of Cromwell's 
oaraliy was seen to move rapidly from the rear, followed by a' part of the 
in&ntry. Prince Eupert met this promptly by bringing up a body of mus- 
keteers, who opened upon them a murderous fire as they formed in front of 
the ditch, which protected Rupert's musketeers from the cavalry, while a 
range of batteries, advanti^eously planted on a height to the rear, kept up 
an incessant cannonading on the whole Hne."* 

" Suddenly the left wing of the Parliamentarians was stirred by a rapid 
movement;" says a recent writer, '* had the eagle eye of Cromwell seen the 
moment of advantage ? or, was it the death of his nephew, struck down by a 
cannon shot, that awakened his slumbering wrath, roused the lion spirit 
within him« and now hurried him to the combat, and with him the whole 
anny, for a single charge must inevitably bring on a general engagement. 
His heavy armed curasaiers were already chanting their vengeful psalm of 
batde, while their eyes were lighted up with martial joy. Not one of them 
but carried a bible, as well as a carbine, pistols, and a heavy broad sword, "f 
The small ditch, which lay between the contending armies, had an embank- 
ment on one side of it ; and though they had drawn up within musket shot 
of one another, yet it must incommode the party that passed it, and lay them 
more open to their enemy. In the ditch the Royalist leader placed four 
brigades of their best musketeers, which at the first were gallantly assaulted 
by the enemy, and forced to give ground. The finont divisions of horse mu- 
tually charged, the respective opposite right and left wings meeting. Crom- 
well, with his trusty Ironsides, dashed off rapidly to the right, and clearing 
the ditch beyond the enemy's fiank, he swept down upon their right wing 
with such irresistible force, that the cavalry, who were then under the com- 
Biaad of General Goring, were completely broken soon after the first onset 
For a short time ihe fighting here was truly terrific. Some of the King's 
bravest men attacked Cromwell's troopers in front and flank, and every inch 
was disputed at the sword's point. For a while all was dose and deadly 
conflict; the cannon's roar, the clashing of arms, the ringing of pistol shots, 
the sound of trumpets, mingled with the yells, shouts, and cheers of the 

• Wilton's CnmUMtt and the Proteetorau, p. 96. f Battle Fields of YorkBhire. 


troops, making up a dreadful battle chorus. The Royalists fought bravely, 
rallying when broken, and again rushing to the charge. Goring and New* 
castle exerted themselYes like tried and trusty soldieiiB ; what generalship 
and personal courage could do, was done, and done in vain. The whole right 
wing of the King's army was dispersed ; and such of them as escaped the 
swords of Cromwell's Ironsides, wheeled about, and fled to join the caTalxyi 
under Prince Rupert's own command. The guns were silenced, and the 
artillerymen fled, or were sabred at their posts ; while Cromwell, recalling 
his men finom the pursuit, led them back in perfect order towards their first 
point of attack. 

But a diflerent scene had been enacted meanwhile on the left wing. 
Prince Rupert, who commanded there in person, poured a tremendous fire 
into the right wing of the enemy, led by Sir Thomas Fairfax, and dashed in 
upon them with his usual impetuosity, and swept through their broken ranks 
with tremendous slaughter. Nevertheless Sir Thomas, with a body of 400 
horsemen, passed the ditch, and charged furiously upon the royal ranks, and 
after a dreadful struggle, cut his way through, despite all their efforts to 
hinder him ; the Royalists flying towards York, closely pursued to prevent 
their rallying. Rupert seeing the disorder of that wing, dashed forward at 
the head of his men, driving, scattering, and destroying all before him. In 
vain the leaders struggled to stem the tide— on sped the Prince over the 
dying and the dead, pursuing the routed squadrons towards Tadcaster and 
Cawood. Instead of pursuing them with his whole strength, had Rupert 
merely ordered a detachment to keep them from rallying after they were 
pushed from the field, and fallen with the rest of his force upon the naked 
flank of the Parliamentarian foot, the victory might have been his own, and 
his rashness in fighting been justified by success. Thus one wing of eadi 
army was routed, and the main bodies closely engaged in an even balanced 
and desperate struggle, when Cromwell, with his troopers flushed with vic- 
tory, dashed impetuously upon the naked flank of the Royalist in&ntry, 
overturning all before them. It was at this time that the Marquis of New- 
castle's own regiment — called " White Coats," from their clothing, consisting 
of more than a thousand stout Northumbrians, being deserted by the horse, 
yet scomiog either to fly or to ask quarter, were cut to pieces by the enemy, 
all bravely fiBJling in rank and file as they stood. This brigade, which was 
well armed and disciplined, strong and valiant, was commanded by a Scotch- 
man named King, the Marquis's Lieutenant, a man of considerable military 

The three Generals, Manchester, Leven, and Fairfax, appear to have con- 


aidefBd the battle as lost, and were hastening out of the field, when the Tictoty 
ihej despaired of unexpectedly fell into their hands. For General Porter, 
after having forced back part of the Parliamentarian foot, even beyond their 
first position ; and after three hours of hard fighting, and when he thought 
the success of the Prince was established, found himself attacked with greater 
fury ihan erer^ and that unexpectedly in the rear. Here the order of the 
iMttle was completely reversed, each party occupying the ground held by the 
other at the beginning of the fight Cromwell having rallied his men, ad- 
vanced towards the centre of the action just as Rupert returned from his 
headlong and mad pursuit, at the head of his exulting cavalry, confident that 
the field was already won. But a short time was sufficient to convince him 
thai his enemies were the victors ; for though the second battle was equally 
ffoioos and desperate with the first, yet, after the utmost efforts of courage 
by both parties, victory wholly turned on the side of the Parliament ; for, 
hemmed in on nearly sll sides, on difficult and broken ground, without hope 
of sucoouTi and almost without means of retreat. Porter and his brave band 
smnendered themselves prisoners. Rupert's whole tndn of artillery was 
taken, and those Royalists who had survived, and were not taken prisoners, 
were pursued to within a mile of the walls of York, by their relentless ene- 
mies, Rupert himself only escapng by the fieetness of his horse. Thus 
ended this sanguinaiy conflict between the most numerous armies that ever 
w«e engaged duiing the course of these unnatural wars. About ten o'clock 
the Royalists had pursued the main port of the enemy from the field ; but 
before midni^ the best and bravest of the friends of rojBltj were lying dead 
OD the field, or prisoners in the hands of the foe, or helpless and despairing 
fugitives on the roads to York and other places, pursued with great slaughter. 
The victoiy was complete. What a contrast between the going out and the 
letom of the Royalist army. The number of the dain on both sides is said 
to be about 8,000, though authors vary much in this as in other particulars 
of the battle ; but the villagers, who were commanded to bury the dead, as^ 
sertoi tiuKt they interred only 4,160 bodies, two-thirds of whom appear to 
have been men of rank; and their graves are yet to be seen near Wibtrop 
Wood, at the end of a long green lane, on the western side of the moor. 
This is supposed to be the place where Oromwdl beat the Royalist right 
wing, and afterwards mowed down Newcastle's valiant regiment, for they 
would probably bury them "where the battle's wreck lay thickest" 

Among the Royalists who fell were Sir WilHam Wentworth; Sir Francis 
Bacres; Sir William Lambton; Sir Charles Slingsby, Knight, who was in^ 
terred in the Cathedral; Colonel John Fenwick, whose remains could not be 

d K 


identified among the heaps of dead ; Sir Marmaduke Luddon ; Sir Thomas 
Metham ; Sir Thomas Gledhill ; Sir Richard Graham ; and more than 4,000 
others. Upwards of 1,500 were taken prisoners on that dreadful daj, 
amongst whom were General Sir Charles Lucas, General Porter, General 
Tilliud, Lord Goring*s son, and many more field officers. The Prince like- 
wise lost besides his 95 pieces of artiUerj, 130 barrels of gunpowder, 10,000 
stand of arms, 47 colours, 2 waggons loaded with carbines and pistols, and 
all his bag and baggage. 

The principal persons slain among the Parliamentarians were Charles, 
brother of Sir Thomas Fairfax, who was buried at Marston ; Mi^or Fairfiu, 
Captain Micklethwaite, and Captain Pugh. From the circumstance of the 
battle being at one time so much against them, they must undoubtedly have 
lost a number of adherents nearly equal to the vanquished ; but they ihem* 
selves would not acknowledge the loss of more than 800 subalterns and 

Prince Rupert, to whose want of sufficient coolness and prudence, the dis- 
asters of this day were attributed, has been accused by some of wanting 
courage, a charge which by others is believed to be completely unfounded. 
Cromwell, too, is taxed with cowardice by Hollis, who says that he witiidrew 
very soon from the fight, for a slight wound in the neck ; but he is, however, 
by most writers considered the main instrument in gaining this important 
victory. It was late in the evening when the Royalists arrived at Mickl^ate 


Bar, and as none but the garrison were suffered to enter, many of the 
wounded, fainting under fieitigue and anxiety, filled the air with sounds of 
distress, and the scene of confusion and misery that ensued, was beyond 

This disastrous battle extinguished the power of the Royalists in the 
northern counties, and opened an immediate way to Cromwell's assumption 
of the vacant throne, when Charles fell a sacrifice to violence and political 
rancour. Among the many battle fields of Yorkshire, at Marston Moor only 
was there any great principle depending on the issue. In the other battles 
the object had been to repel, perhaps a provoked invasion ; to crush a rebel- 
lion of ambitious and discontented nobility ; or oftener for a mere change of 
rulers. The people shed their blood for men from whom they could receive 
no benefit, and for objects in which they had no interest; but at Marstoh I 

Moor only the spirit of civil and religious freedom was manifested. There it. 

• For this battle see Bushworth, v., 632. Clarendon, iv., 503. Thorloe, i., 89. 
Whitelook, 89. 

f Hargrove's Histoiy of Tork, vol. i., pp. 169, 178. 


iras that King and people contended ; the one for power unlimited and absolute ; 
the other for justice and liberty — ^man's birthright Liberty and privilege 
on the one side, and prerogative and despotic power on the other, were on the 
field of Marston brought into open conflict, and the sequel is well known. 

The day after the battie the brave Marquis of Newcastle, and several of 
his friends, either despairing of the royal cause, or disgusted with the arro- 
gant conduct of Prince Rupert, resolved to quit the countiy, and immediately 
went to Scarborough, and thence embarked to Hamburgh. Rupert himself 
drew his army from the city of York, aud hastily retreated into Lancashire ; 
and thus were the afiairs of the unfortunate Charles irretrievably ruined by 
the imperious and injudicious conduct of his froward kinsman. Had he left 
a sufficient garrison in the city, it might be held out against the Parliament- 
arians, as great dissensions prevailed among the leaders ; but encouraged by 
the intelligence of the departure of the two royal commanders, and knowing 
that Sir Thomas Glemham, the Goyemor, was left with only a very small 
garrison, and in a great measure defenceless, in consequence of the loss of 
artillery at the late battie, the Parliament's Generals appeared before the 
walls, and renewed the siege. The Gx)vemor was summoned to surrender 
unconditionally — ^to which a negative answer was returned. However, thir- 
teen days after the battie of Marston, and after a siege of nearly thirteen 
weeks, during which time the garrison had repulsed twenty-two attempts to 
carry the city by storm, and four countermines ; and between 4,000 and 5,000 
of the enemy had perished before its walls, the Governor was reduced to the 
painful necessity of surrendering the city, on the following conditions,* 
which, owing to the existence of considerable dissensions amongst the forces 
of the Parliament, were extremely favourable. 

1. That Sir Thomas Glemham, as Governor of the city of York, shall sur- 
render and deliver up the same, with the forts, tower, cannon, ammunition, 
and furniture of war belonging thereto, on the 16th of July, 1644, at eleven 
o'clock in the forenoon, to the three Generals, or to whom they shall appoint, 
for the use of the King and Parliament, in the manner, and upon the con- 
ditions following: — 

d. That all the officers shall march out of the city, with their arms, drums 
beating, colours flying, match lighted, bullet in mouth, bag and baggage. 

S. That they shall hare a convoy, that no ix\iuiy be done them in their 
march to Skipton. 

4. That sick and maimed soldiers shall not be hindered from going, after 
their recoyeries. 

• Ex. MS. 


6. That soldierB* wives and children may hare liberty to go to their hus- 
bands and fathers, to dieir own homes and estates, and to enjoy them 
peaceably, under ccmtribution. 

6. That no soldier be enticed away. 

7. That the citizens and inhabitants may eigoy all their priTileges, which 
formerly they did at the beginning of these troubles, and may have freedom 
of trade, both by sea and land, paying such duties and customs as aU other 
cities under obedience of Parliament. 

8. That if any garrison be placed in the cily, two parts in thvae shall be 
Yorkshiremen ; no free quarter shall be put upon any without his own con- 
sent, and the armies shall not enter the city before the Goremor and Lord 
Mayor be acquainted. 

9. That in all chaiges the citizens, residents, and inhabitants, shall bear 
only such part with the county at laige, as was formerly in all other assess- 

10. That all citizens, gentlemen, residents, sojourners, and every other 
person within the city, shall, if they please, have free liberty to remove them- 
selves, family, and goods, and to dispose thereof, and their estates, at their 
pleasure, according to the law of the land, either to live at their own homes 
or elsewhere ; and to enjoy their goods and estates without molestation, and 
to have protection and safeguard for that purpose, so that they may rest 
quietly at their abodes, and travdl safely and fredy about their occasions ; 
and for their better removal, may have letters of safe conduct, and be f m> 
nished with horses and carriages at reasonable rates. 

11. That all gentlemen, and others, that have goods within the city, and 
are absent themselves, may have &ee liberty to take, carry away, and dispose 
of them, as in the forcing articles. 

13. That neither churches nor other buildings shall be de&iced, nor any 
plunderings, nor taking of any man's person, nor any part of his estate, 
suffered; and that justice shall be administered within the city, by tlie 
magistrates, according to law, who shall be assisted therein, if need require, 
by the garrison. 

18. That all persons whose dwellings are in the city, though now absent, 
may enjoy the benefit of these articles, as if they were present. 







The &ie68 of the King* amovmtiiig to mora than one thousaad, besides 
flick and wounded, aeooidingly enwuated the city on the f<^owing daj* 
through Micklegate Bar, marching through the yictorious armj (which had 
been prsTiously drawn up on each side, witiioat the Bar, and ioxmed into a line 
of about a mite in extent), with arms in their hands, drums beating, colours 
flying, ibc, towards Skipton. On their departure, the three succesfiful Gene^ 
xalfl, the Eads of Leven and Manchester, and Lord Eairfax, with their IbrceSi 
entered the city in solemn procession, and went directly to the Cathednd, 
where they returned thanks to the Almighiy for their success — prayer being 
cAred up by the Earl of Leren's chaplain, a Presbyterian; and the following 
Thnrsday was appointed a day of general thanksgiTing.» 

York suffered seYcrely irom this calamitous si^ge. Its walls were sadly 
shattered ; several houses were in ruins, and the suburbs completely destroyed. 

Lord Ferdinando Faix&x was now made Goremor of York, and that city 
became the seat of a standing committee, whereby the affiiirs of the whole 
county were conducted with almost absdute power« Lord Fairfu and Ms 
aon. Sir Thomas* now sumamed the Hero of ths ChmmonweaUh, received 
commissions from the Parliament to reduce all the garrisons that still held 
out lor the King in this county ; and Sir Thomas was soon after appointed 
Commander-in-Chief of all the forces of the Parliament. The city walls were 
put in a state of repair, and no time was test in attempting to subdue the 
spirit of loyalty, which still existed in many of the fcMixesses of the county. 
Detachmento of troops were sent to besiege them. The siege of Pontefract 
Castle commenced on Christmas day. Sir Thomas Faii£Guc having taken pos- 
oession of the town in the banning of December.f On the 10th of January, 
1645, after an incessant cannonade against the ramparts ci the Castle, the Pix 
Tower gave way, and by its fiedl carried part of the walls along with it. The 
81^ continued till the garrison was reduced to great distress fi>r want of 
provisions. At this period. Sir Marmaduke Langdale, one of the Royalist 
Generals, making a rapid march, at the head of 2,000 horse, arrived at Pon- 
tefract; attacked the besiegers, who were commanded by Colonek Lambert 
and Forbes; and after an obstinate engagement, the Parliamentarians retired 
in dis(»der to Ferrybridge, and from tiience towards Sfaerbum and Tadcaster, 
dosely pursued by the Boyalists. 

On General Langdate's departure, the Parliamentarian irx>ops collected, 
and on the dlst of March, 1645, they took possession of the town, and again 
lajd siege to the Castle. For four months tibe besieged gallantly withstood 

* Hargrove's Hist York, voL L, p. 187. f miteloek, p. 102. 


tihe incessant cannonades, attacks, and sorties of the enemy ; but at length 
ledaced to a state of &niine, the ganison surrendered the Castle, by an 
honourable capitulation, on the 20th of July. Sir Thomas Fairfax was 
appointed Goyemor ; but as he was subsequently employed in the field, he 
placed Cotterell in the Castle as his substitute. In 1648, when the war was 
drawing near to a conclusion, the royal party being nearly subdued, and the 
garrison of Pontefract consisted of only 100 men, the King's friends regained 
possession of this important fortress by stratagem. On the 6th of July, in 
that year, the Goyemor haying giyen orders for bringing some beds and pro- 
yisions out of the country. Colonel Morrice, accompanied by nine others of 
the King's officers, disguised like peasants, haying concealed arms, appeared 
at the Castle gate with carts laden with beds, proyisions, &c. These thiogs 
being deliyered to the main guard, money was giyen to some of the soldiers 
to fetch ale ; but scarcely had these departed, when Morrice and his party 
attacked and mastered the main guard, made way for their confederates to 
enter, took the deputy-Goyemor prisoner, and made themselyes masters of 
the Castle. Sir John Digby was then made Goyemor, and a part of the 
King's scattered troops, 30 horse and 500 foot, formed the garrison. The 
third siege of Pontefract Castle commenced the following October, under the 
command of Oliyer Cromwell, who, after endeayouring in yain for a month 
to make an impression on its massy walls, retired and joined the grand army 
under Fairfax. On the 4th of December General Lambert took charge of 
the forces before the Castle, and pushed the siege with the greatest vigour ; 
and when the news of the execution of the King, in the following January, 
reached the place, the garrison, still besieged, proclaimed his son, Charles 
n., and made a rigorous sally against their enemies. On the 25th of March, 
1649, the garrison being reduced to 100 men, and some of these unfit for 
duty, surrendered by capitulation. The walls of the Castle being much shat- 
tered, the Parliament ordered its demolition, and within two months after its 
reduction, the buildings were unroofed, and all the valuable materials sold. 
Thus was this princely fortress reduced to a heap of ruins. 

Soon after the battie of Marston Moor, Migor Beaumont, Goyemor of 
Sheffield Castie, was summoned to surrender that fortress to the Parliament- 
arians, but the demand was answered by a yoUey of shot, and a> reply that 
the garrison " would hold no parley." The besiegers then erected two bat- 
teries, and kept their cannon playing upon the fortress for twenty-four hours 
without any risible effects. Mcyor-General Crawford, who conducted the 
siege, finding that it was Hkely to be protracted, sent to Lord Fairfax for 
the " Queen's pocket pistol," and a whole culverin, which, being brought to 



the Spot, played with such fatal effect, that the garrison was obliged to capi- 
tolate, and the Castle was surrendered on the 11th of August On the SOth 
of April> 1646, the House of Commons directed that the Castle of Sheffield 
should be rendered untenable ; and on the Idth of July, in the following 
year, the same assembly passed a resolution for the " sleighting and de- 
molishing " that ancient structure. On the 3drd of April, 1648, the work of 
demolition had begun, and so completely have the ruins themselves been 
obliterated, that the site of this once noble stronghold of feudal times — ^in 
which the unfortunate Maiy Queen of Scots was for some time detained 
a prisoner — is only distinguished by the name of Castle Hill. 

In 1644, Leeds and Ripon having previously fallen into the hands of the 
Parliamentarians, that party besieged the Castle of Scarborough. On the 
18th of February the town, with the church of St Mary, was taken by as- 
sault, and Sir Hugh Cholmley, the (xovemor, retired into the Castle. Sir 
John Mddrum then made a lodgment in the church, and opened a battery 
on the Castle from the east window. The garrison, at the same time, kept 
an incessant fire on the church, by which the choir was demolished. On the 
17th of May, 1645, the besiegers made a general assault on the Castle, but 
were repulsed with great loss. In this assault. Sir John Meldrum received 
a mortal wound, of which he died on the Srd of June. Sir Matthew Boynton 
was then appointed by the Parliament to the command of the forces before 
Scarborough Castle, and after a siege of more than twelve months, the forti- 
fications being ruined by incessant battering, the stores nearly exhausted, and 
the garrison worn out by excessive fatigue, the brave Governor surrendered 
the fortress upon honourable terms. During this memorable siege, square- 
shaped silver coins, of the value of 5 s., and 2s. 6d. each, were issued. One 
side bore a representation of the Castle, with the inscription, " Obeiditim 
Searbarough, 1645," and the reverse the nominal value of the piece.4( 

In the latter part of 1645 Skipton Castle surrendered to the Parliament- 
azians, after sustaining a siege of three years. Its defenders were permitted 
to retain their arms, and retire either to Newark, Oxford, or Hereford. The 
Castle was partly demolished in 1649, by an order of Parliament, but the 
Countess of Pembroke, the great restorer of ruined edifices, repaired, and 
rendered it habitable, though not perhaps tenable as a fortress. 

''Cromwell began now to entertain in his own breast those ambitious 
views which subsequently placed him on the throne," writes the Bev. Geo. 
OUver, '* and he hid them from the world under the cloak of religion. He 

• Hinderwell's History of Soarborough, p. 85. 


was a profeaaed Independent; a sect which pervaded alike the citj, the 
caantryy and the camp. All nmks of aocietj were fall of its profesaors. 
Soon, in erery town and village, the spirit of fanaticism waa pr^ralent, and 
auperseded the chaste and sober practice of genuine religion ; and when the 
Independents perceived the superiority thej had acquired over the minds of 
the people^ they threw off the mask, and adhered in practice no longer to 
the principles they had formerly professed in theory. The flame, long sup- 
pressed, now burst forth with an irresistible violence that earned all before 
it They openly challenged the superiority, says Hume, and even menaced 
the church with that persecution which they afterwards exercised against 
her with such severity. They had a minority in the house, and voted the 
liturgy an abomination to the godly, and even prohibited the use of it under 
heavy penalties. They were not respect^^s of persons; and it was one of 
Cromwell*s sayings, that if he met the King in battle, he would fire a ptsto) 
in his face as readily as against any other man.* Slaughter and spoliation 
irere preceded by long prayers ; and murder, as Holies expresses it, was no 
sin to the visible saints. Even the subversion of the altar and the maxdet 
of the King were esteemed acts of piety and devotion to Qoi, aond were ac* 
eompanied by the outward forms of rdigion. With the bible in their haoids, 
the impious regicides brought a virtuous monarch to the block ; with a text 
of scripture in their mouths, th^ overthrew the altar and the th»me.'*f 

In 1645 the liturgy of the Church of England being abolished, the 
lonatical soldiers, quartered in the different towns, robbed the diurohes of 
the Books of Common Prayer, and amidst thelondeet and most savage ftcda- 
mations of joy — drums beating, and trumpets sounding — committed them to 
the flames. 

In 1646, after a series of ddbats, the rc^al army was disbanded ,' and the 
unfortunate Monarch, despairing of a reconciliation with his enemies, and 
finding his personal safety insecure, voluntarily placed himself under the 
protection of the Scottirii forces, then at Newaris-apon-Trent. The Lords 
and Commons immediately joined in a vote, unprecedented in history, ** That 
the person of the King shaU be disposed of, as both Hoi^ses ot Pariiament 
should thmk fit" 

By the more moderate pttty the war was now oonsidersd to be virtually at 
an end ; they expected that the King would agree to the original proposals 
of the Parliament, and be content to held the crown as his predacessors held 
it; but the moderate party had entirdy lost its influence in Parliament, and 

• Hume's En^aad, voL vilL, p. 824. f HisCory of Bevnrley, p. 927. 


ft new party had arisen in the state^ which hecame an instrument in the 
hands of the hold and amhitiotis Cromwell. This latter party was equally 
formidable to Royalists, Presbyterians, and Independents. Its founders were 
a few fanatics in the army, who enjoyed the reputation of superior godliness. 
They called themselves Rationalists, but this name was soon exchanged for 
the more expressive appellation of Levellers, In religion they rejected all 
coeiciTe authority ; men might establish a public worship at their pleasure, 
bat if it were compulsory, it became unlawful and sinful ; and these fanatics 
pretended to have discovered in the Bible that the government of Kings was 
odious in the sight of God, and contended that in fact Charles had now no 
daim to the sceptre. 

The Scots having delivered up the person of the King, he was detained as 
a captive, successively at Holdenby, or Holmby House, near Northampton ; 
Hampton Court, near London ; and in the castles of Carisbrook and Hurst, 
in the Isle of Wight. But to return to the annals of York. 

In January, 1646, the great convoy, under the conduct of Major-General 
Skippon, arrived at York with the sum of J6200,000., which was paid to the 
Scottish receiver at the Guild-Hall ; it being the first payment for the arrears 
of the ScottLsh army. 

In 1647, when the whole country became under the subjection of the Par- 
liament, York was dismantled of its garrison, with the exception of Clifford's 
ToFwer, of which the Lord Mayor was appointed Governor, and his successors 
continued to hold that commission for several years. 

On the 13th of March, 1648, Lord Ferdinando Fairfax died at York, and 
was succeeded in his title and estates by his son. Sir Thomas. Guizot, in 
writing of the latter personage, says that " while the civil war was at its 
height, he afforded a most useful protection to literature and literary institu- 
tions. By his care^" he adds, "the libraries of York and Oxford were 
partially at least preserved from pillage."* 

At the Lent Assizes in 1648, held in the city of York, a woman was tried 
and condemned for crucifying her mother ; and it is added, that after perpe- 
trotiiig the horrid deed, she had offered a calf and a cock for a burnt sacrifice. 
Her husband also was hanged for being an accomplice ; and at the same time 
twenty-one men and women were executed here for various crimes. Judge 
Thorpe, in his chaige to the jury at these Assizes, endeavoured to vindicate 
the Parliament in all their proceedings, and to justify the execution of the 
King, which was probably then in contemplation. 

• Qimot's M&nki ContefnporaHeB. 

2 L 


The Levellers, now a powerful faction, were spreading their pernicious 
doctrines through all ranks in the army. The King, they said, had bound 
himself, at his accession, by oath to protect the liberties of his subjects ; and 
as they maintained that he had violated that oath, they argued that they 
were released from their allegiance to him. For the decision of the question 
he had appealed to the God of battles, who, by the result, had decided against 
his pretensions. Ho therefore, they maintained, was answerable for the 
blood which had been shed ; and it was the duty of the representatives of the 
nation to call him to justice for the crime, and in order to prevent the recur- 
rence of similar mischiefs ; as well as to provide for the liberties of all by 
founding an equal commonwealth on the general consent. The fanatics went 
still further. They had read in the book of Numbers that " blood defileth 
the land, and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, 
but by the blood of him that shed it ;" and hence they inferred that it was a 
duty imposed on them by the Grod who had given them the victory, to call 
the King to a strict account for all the blood which had been shed during the 
civil war. 

It was now some time since the King had begun to fear for his safety. 
He saw that the violence of the Levellers had daily increased ; and that the 
government of the kingdom had now devolved in reality on the army. There 
were two military councils, one consisting of the principal commanders, the 
other of the inferior officers, most of them men of levelling principles ; and 
when any measure had received the approbation of the general council of the 
army, the House of Commons scarcely dare refuse to impart to it the sanction 
of their authority. Indeed no man could be ignorant that the Parliament, 
nominally the supreme authority, was under the control of the council of 
officers. It had long been the conviction of the officers that the life of the 
King was incompatible with their safety ; and that if he were restored, they 
would become the objects of royal vengeance. In this state of things we are 
not surprised to find the House of Commons declaring by vote, that it was 
high treason for the King of England to levy war against the Parliament and 
kingdom of England ; and granting an ordinance for the erection of a high 
court of justice to tiy the question of fact, whether Charles Stuart, King of 
England, had or had not been guilty of the treason described in the preceding 
vote. The Lords, seeing the approaching ruin of their own order in the fall 
of the Sovereign, rejected both the vote and the ordinance without a dissen- 
tient voice ; whereupon the Commons voted that the people, or rather they, 
as the representatives of the people, are the origin of all just power; and on 
the 20th of January, 1649, the King of England, Scotland, and Ireland, was 


arraigned in Westminster Hall, before sixty-six commissioners, and charged 
with being a " tyrant, traitor, murderer, and a public and implacable enemy 
to the commonwealth of England." The sequel is well known ; on the 80th 
of January — ^ten days after his arraignment — ^he was beheaded. Thus fell 
this unfortunate King, who, with all his faults, was worthy of a better fate, 
and after his death the monarchy of England was temporally abolished. 
Charles was by nature a man of peace, and his bitterest enemies could not 
pronounce him a tyrant from a vicious disposition, or from depraved habits. 
It was an error in his education, that he had> unhappily, imbibed fialse ideas 
of the royal prerogative, which he endeavoured to stretch to its utmost limit ; 
and to this source may be traced all the calamities which deformed his reign. 
They were purely the fletult of his education, and not of his principles. 

Henriette Marie de Bourbon, his Queen, who was, after the death of 
Charles, privately married to Jermyn, Earl of St. Albans, lived to see the 
restoration of her son to the English throne. She died in the month of 
August, 1669, at the Castle of Colombo, near Paris, her last years being 
chiefly spent in acts of charity and exercises of devotion. 

York has little share in the annals of the Commonwealth, or Cromwellian 
protectorate. The Lord General does not appear to have ever been in that 
city, except at the time of its capture after the battle of Marston Moor, and 
another time, being on a progress to Scotland. " On the 4th of July, 1650," 
writes Whitelock, " Cromwell came to York, on his expedition into Scotland, 
at which time aU the artillery of the Tower were discharged ; the next day 
he dined with the Lord Mayor, and on the following day set forward to Scot- 
land. To compliment his Excellency, and to show their zeal for the cause, 
the magistrates then thought fit to take down the King's Arms at Micklegate 
and Bootham Bars, through both of which he must needs pass in his journey, 
and put up the States' Arms in their stead." 

On the 8rd of September, 1668 (a day of all others he esteemed the most 
fortunate), Cromwell died of a tertian ague at Whitehall,* and was succeeded 
by his son Richard, who was proclaimed " the rightful Protector of the Com- 
monwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions and terri- 
tories thereunto belonging." Adulatory addresses, too, were presented from 
most of the boroughs in England, filled with high-sounding panegyrics of 

* Oomwell was buried in WestzxunBter Abbey, "with regal pomp, bat Charles U. had 
his remains disinterred and thrown into a hole nnder Tyburn. A tradition has been 
preserved that some of the friends of the Protector secretly removed the body, and in- 
terred it in a spot in the neighbourhood of the present Bed Lion Square, London. 


Richard's wisdom, greatness of mind, and many other qualities which were 
entirely foreign to his moderate unambitious character. 

During the Commonwealth, two of the Assizes at York were rendered re- 
markable by the attendance of that wonderful instance of human longeyity, 
Henry Jenkins. In the first trial, which was heard in 1656, Jenkins vras 
brought forward as a witness to prove an ancient road to a mill IdO years 
before. The positive terms in which this venerable man spoke, and the 
apparent improbability of his memory being able to take such a distinct retro- 
spect, struck the judge in so unfavourable a light, that he severely repri- 
manded him. But the veteran boldly maintained his assertion, stating, in 
further proof of his depositions, that he was then butler to Lord Conyers, of 
Hornby Castle, and that his name might be found in an old register of the 
menial servants of that nobleman. It is not a little remarkable, that there 
were on the same trial, engaged as witnesses on the opposite side, four men, 
each about one hundred years old; who, on the judge objecting to the evi- 
dence of Jenkins, positively declared that he had been called Old Jenkins as 
long as they could remember. 

In two years after (1657) the same venerable personage was again at York 
Assizes, as a witness on a trial between the Vicar of Catterick and William 
and Peter Mawbank. Jenkins deposed to the tithes of wool, lambs, Ac, 
having been paid, to his knowledge, more than 120 years before.* 

On the night of the 8th of December, 1659, there was a remarkably high 

• Henry Jenldns was bom at Ellerton-upon-Swale, in the North-Biding of Yorkshire, 
five miles E.S.E. of Richmond, and lived to the amazing age of 169 years. He was bom 
before parish registers were in use, but Bishop Lyttletx)n communicated to the Society 
of Antiquarians, on the 11th of December, 1766, a paper copied from an old household 
book of Sir Richard Graham, Bart., of Norton Conyers, the writing of which says, that 
upon his going to live at Bolton, Jenkins was said to be ahout 150 years old, that 
he had often examined him in his sister's kitchen, where he came to beg alms, and 
found facts and chronicles agree in his account. He was then 162 or 163 years old. 
He remembered the dissolution of the monasteries, and said that great lamentation was 
made on that occasion ; and he was often at Fountain's Abbey during the residence of 
the last Abbot, who he said frequently visited his master. Lord Conyers. He said 
that he went to Northallerton with a horse load of arrows for the battle of Hodden 
Field, with which a bigger boy went forward to the army under the Earl of Surrey, 
King Henry being at that time at Toumay, and he believed himself then eleven or 
twelve years old. He died on the 8th of December, 1670, at the place of his birth, where 
a monument was erected to his memory, in 1743, the epitaph of which was composed by 
Dr. Thomas Chapman, Master of Magdalen College, Cambridge. 

Jenkins was contemporary with Thomas Parr, of whom it is recorded that he was 
bora in 1483, and lived in the reign of ten monarchs of England. At the age of 180 he 
is said to have been able to do husbandry work ; and at the age of 105, it is stated in 


wind, such as had never before been experienced in the country. The 
Cathedral and many of the dwelling houses at York were seriously injured* 

When the plan for the restoration of the monarchy was nearly complete 
for execution, the county of York was well disposed to promote it Lord 
Fairfax was become a convert to the cause of monarchy ; to him the numerous 
Royalists in Yorkshire looked up afl a leader ; and he, on the solemn assu- 
rance of Qeneral Monk, afterwards Duke of Albemarle (who had been chiefly 
instrumental in the re-establishment of kingly government) that he would 
join him in twelve days, or perish in the attempt, imdertook to call together 
his friends, and to surprise the city of York. On the 1st of January, 1660, 
each performed his promise. The gates of York were thrown open to Fairfax 
by the Cavaliers confined within its walls ; and Monk, who had been with 
his army in Scotland, crossed the Tweed, and marched against the advanced 
posts of the enemy, then commanded by General Lambert. Thus the flame 
of civil war was again kindled in the north ; but within two days it was again 
extinguished. Lambert's army was ordered by the Parliament to retire, and 
Monk continued his march to York, where he spent five days in consultation 
with Fair&x. On the arrival of an invitation to Westminster, Monk resinned 
his march, and Fairfiu having received the thanks of the Parliament, dis- 
banded his insurrectionaiy force. 

Charles IE. was proclaimed in London on the 8th, and at York, with the 
greatest solemnity, on the 11th of May, 1660. " On that day the Lord 
Mayor, Aldermen, &c, on horseback, in their richest habits, preceded the 
cayalcade; next followed the Chamberlains and Common Councilmen on 
foot, in their gowns ; these were attended by more than a thousand citizens 
under arms ; and lastiy, came a troop of coimtiy gentiemen, near three hun- 
dred, with Lord Fairfax at their head, who all rode with their swords drawn, 
and hats upon the points of them. When the proclamation was read at the 
usual places, the bells rung, the cannon roared from the tower, and the 
soldiers fired several volleys ; and at night were bonfires, illuminations, Sso., 
with every other demonstration of joy."* 

His Majesty made his public entrance into London on the 29th of the 
same month, it being his birthday ; and on that occasion the inhabitants of 
York expressed their loyalty by suspending upon a gaUows, erected in the 

Oldy'B MS. notes on Fuller's Worthies, that he did penance in Alderbaiy Chorch, for 
lying yrith Katherine Milton and getting her with child. He died in 1635, aged 153 
years and months, and it is said that his remains rest among the eminent dead in 
Westminster Abbey. 

* Allen's History of Yorkshire, p. 176. 


Pavement for that purpose, the effigies of Cromwell, clothed in pink satin, 
and Judge Bradshaw, habited in a Judge's robe, and then burning them in 
tar barrels ; together with the arms of the Commonwealth and the Scotch 
covenant. Never perhaps did any event in the history of this nation produce 
such general and exuberant joy as the return of Charles to the throne of his 
feithers. The people attributed to the abolition of monarchy, all the evils 
which they had suffered ; and from its restoration they predicted the revival 
of peace and prosperity. 

Three years after the Restoration a number of fanatics, headed by conven- 
ticle preachers, and old Parliamentarian soldiers, attempted to revive the old 
party feeling, which had then gradually subsided. The objects of this rem- 
nant of the Parliamentary fEU^tion, as expressed in their printed declarations, 
were to establish a gospel magistracy and ministry ; to restore the long Par- 
liament ; and to reform all ranks and degrees of men, especially the lawyers 
and clergy. They assembled in arms in great numbers, at Farnley Wood, 
in Yorkshire, but the time and place of their rendezvous being known, a 
body of regular troops, with some of the county militia, was sent against 
them, and several of them were seized and further mischief thereby prevented. 

The principal leaders were shortly after tried by a special commission at 
York, and twenty-one of them were condemned and executed ; two of them 
were also quartered, and their mutilated bodies placed over the several gates 
of the city. The heads of four of them were placed over Micklegate Bar ; 
three over Bootham Bar; one upon Walmgate Bar; and three over the 
gates of the Castle. At the trial of these insurgents, one of them, named 
Per^prine Comey, had the boldness to tell the judge that he valued his life 
no more than his handkerchief. 

In the year 1666, during the time that the plague raged violently in 
London,'!' James, Duke of York (afterwards James II.), and his Duchess 
spent nearly two months in the dty of York. They were met, on their 

• This dreadful epidemic made its appearance in London in tJbie month of Jane, 1665, 
and oontinned till the beginning of the year following, during which time more than 
100,000 persons are said to have died of it. The houses of infected families were ordered 
to be shut up for a month, and a flaming red cross, one foot in length, was painted on 
the doors of such houses, with the words, " Lord have mercy on us," placed above it; 
and the wretched inmates were doomed to remain under the same roof communicating 
death one to the other. The pest-cart went round at night to receive the victims of the 
last twenty-four hours. No cofEins were prepared; no Aineral service was read; no 
mourners were permitted to follow the remains of their relatives or Mends. The cart 
proceeded to the nearest cemetery, and shot its burden into the common grave, a d^ep 
and spacious pit, capable of holding some scores of bodies. 


arrival at Tadcaster bridge, by the Sheriffisi, and at Micklegate Bar by the 
Lord Mayor and Corporation, and conveyed through the city with every 
demonstration of loyalty and affection. At their departure the Duke and 
Duchess expressed the highest satisfaction at the honour and attention paid 
them. Three years afterwards, the Duke, who had hitherto been an obedient 
and zealous son of the Church of England, had his religious credulity shaken, 
we are told, by reading Dr. Heylin*s History of the Reformation ; and the 
result of an enquiry which followed, was a conviction that it became his duty 
to reconcile himself with the Church of Rome. In 1679, wheikthe Bill of 
Exclusion was brought forward in Parliament, the Duke, judging it expedient 
to retire from court, went to Edinburgh, and in passing through York he 
was received with much less cordiality than on the occasion of his former 
visit Although the Sheiifis met him at Tadcaster, the Lord Mayor and 
Aldermen did not receive him at the gate of the city ; and this defect of cere- 
mony drew on the magistrates the resentment of the King, and the offending 
parties received a reprimand signed by the Secretary of State. 

It having been discovered that several boroughs, by the exercise of those 
exclusive privil^es which had been conferred on them by ancient grants 
from the crown, had grown into asylums of public malefactors, and on that 
account were presented as nuisances by the grand jurors at the county 
Assizes. Writs of quo warranto were issued, and the old were replaced by 
new charters, which, while they preserved to the inhabitants the most useful 
of their former liberties, cut off the great source of the evil, by giving to the 
county magistrates a concurrent jurisdiction with those of the borough. 

In January, 1684, a quo warrarUo was granted against the Corporation of 
York. In this instrument the members of that body were commanded to 
show how they came to '' usurp " to themselves several liberties which they 
ei\joyed ; and their charter, which was demanded for perusal, was suspended. 
Some of the historians of Toric pretend that this proceeding on the part of 
the King towards the Corporation, was intended as a punishment on the 
citizens for the coolness which they exhibited towards the Duke of York in 
1679 ; but we cannot understand how this opinion can be entertained, seeing 
that the Corporations of several other boroughs were treated in a similar 
manner. The year in which the charter was demanded, the notorious Jef- 
freys attended at York as one of the Judges of Assize, and being interrogated 
by the Lord Mayor and Aldermen concerning the King*s intentions relative 
to the city, he remarked that his Mijesty expected to have the govcrment of 
the city at his own disposal; hence it is thought that the city was con- 
sidered disaffected. The Judge however recommended that an address or 


petition should be prepared by the Corporation, which he would get presented 
to the King. This advice was complied with, and in reply Charles ordered 
Jefirejs to communicate to them his intention of granting them a new 
charter, in which he should reserve to himself only " the nomination and 
approbation of the magistrates, and persons in office therein/* The death of 
the King, in February, 1685, however prevented the fulfilment of his promise. 

James, Duke of York, now succeeded to the throne, under the title of 
James 11., and on the day of his accession, in a speech to the Privy Council^ 
he promised to preserve the government, both in church and state, as it was 
then by law established ; and to take care to defend and support the prin- 
ciples of the Church of England, knowing, as he did, that its members have 
shown themselves good and loyal subjects. On the petition of the citizens 
of York, the new Monarch restored or renewed their charter. In 1687, 
according to an ancient record, " begun lamps to be hung up in the chief 
streets of the city ; viz., at the Minster gates, the west end of Ouse bridgOi 
in the Pavement, Ssc,;" but it is on record that in the reign of Charles IT. 
the city was lighted by twenty-four large lanterns hung at the comers of the 
principal streets. The shock of an earthquake was experienced in Fease- 
gate, in this city, on the 12th of February, in the same year. At Gk&te- 
Fulford, about a mile and a half from York, it was more seriously felt; and 
a subterraneous noise was heard on the occasion, similar to the roaring of a 

In 1688, it appears that James, not approving of all the members of the 
Corporation, and in virtue of a power which he had reserved to himself, in the 
last charter, of regulating that body, despatched a messenger to displace the 
Lord Mayor, Thomas Raynes, and seyeral of the Aldermen, and others ; and 
on the 5th of October he appointed in their place men professing the Catholic 
religion, but who were not even freemen of the city. The latter circum- 
stance afforded the Lord Mayor a pretext for not delivering up the sword and 
mace ; but the office, nevertheless, was declared vacant till tiie d4th of the 
same month, when James thought it expedient to adopt a different course. 
Sir John Reresby, the Governor of York, in his memoirs, tells us of the very 
peculiar situation in which the city at that time was placed. ** It was," he 
says, "an archbishopric without an archbishop; a city without a mayor; 
and a garrison without a soldier." " But," he adds, " these defects were soon 
supplied — ^the old charter was restored, and the old Lord Mayor therewith — 
the Bishop of Exeter, who fled from that city upon the Prince of Orange's 
landing, wto made Archbishop of York — and I had one company of foot sent 
to continue with me." 


York was connected with seTeral of the proceedings which led to the revo- 
lution towards the dose of this year. It was now fully believed that his zeal 
for the religions tenets he professed, was leading the King into measures 
subversive of the English constitution. He had attempted to introduce the 
Catholic religion into this city, and for this purpose had converted one of the 
large rooms of the Manor House into a chapel, in which the services of that 
creed were celebrated. This attempt, together with some arbitrary proceed- 
ings on the part of the court, gave great offence to the people ; still James 
had many enthusiastio admirers and loyal subjects in the city and county of 
York. Rumours were being daily spread that William, Prince of Orange, 
nephew and son-in-law of the King, was preparing to land in this country 
with a considerable force, as the decided champion of the Protestant religion. 
The ten deputy-lieutenants of this county then resided at York, and after a 
eonsultation, a meeting of the gentry and freeholders of the county was ap- 
pointed to take place at York on Thursday, the 19th of November, for the 
purpose of voting a loyal address to the King in this season of danger ; as 
well as &r considmng the best means to pursue for the preservation of the 

At this juncture, the clerk of the West Riding received a new commission, 
in which the names of about thirty gentlemen in the neighbourhood, who had 
previously acted as magistrates, were omitted. This circumstance gready 
eacasperated these magistrates, and none, perhaps, felt it more keenly than 
Sir Henry Goodrick, the proposer of the above-mentioned meeting. It was 
now srea(dv6d to add to their address a petition to the King, for a free Parlia- 
menty and redress of grievances. The Duke of Newcastle, Lord Lieutenant 
of tibe eounty, arrived in the city to preside at the county meeting, but find- 
ing that aevenl of the deputy-Lieutenants had joined with the citizens and 
diwniwBed magistrates in their petition, left the city in disgust. The meeting 
took place in the Guild-Hall, on the 22nd of November, 1688, and the Gover- 
nor, in his Memoirs before quoted, informs us that in the midst of about 
100 gentlemen who met, Sir Henry Goodrick delivered himself to this effect, 
** That there having been great endeavours made by government of late years 
to bring popery into the kingdom, and by many devices, to set at nought the 
laws of the land, there could be no proper redress of the many grievances we 
laboured under, but by a free Parliament; that now was the only time to 
prefer a petition of that sort ; and that they could not imitate a better pattern 
than had been set before them by several Lords, spiritual and temporal." 

During the proceedings a false rumour was raised *' that the Papists were 
risen ; and that they had actually fired upon the Militia troops." Alarmed 

2 M 


at this, the party mshed from the hall, and Lord Danby, Lord Lnmleyi Lord 
Horton, Lord Willoughbj, aad others, who, together with their servants, 
being mounted, formed a body of horse consisting of about 100 in number, 
rode up to the troops of Militia, at that time on parade, crying out, " A free 
Parliament, the Protestant religion, and no popery." The Captains of the 
four troops of Militia were Lord Fairfax, Sir Thomas Gower, Mr. Robinson, 
and Captain Tankard, and being in the secret of the fiodse alarm, immediately 
cried out the same, and led their troops to join them. They then made pri- 
soners of the Goyemor and his inferior o£Qicers, took possession of the guard 
house, placed guards at the several entrances leading into the town ; none 
were suffered to enter or leave the city, and every person was secured who 
displayed any disapprobation of their proceedings.* On the following day 
they summoned a public meeting, passed resolutions, and issued a declara- 
tion explanatory of their proceedings. On the 29th of the same month, a 
mob assembled in the city, and attacked, plundered, and destroyed the houses 
of the principal Catholics, and committed great outrages in their chapels. 
They threw down the altars, destroyed all the pictures and statues, and 
burnt the books and vestments of the priests, in Coney Street and the Pave- 
ment. The Lord Mayor and commonalty of York now followed the example 
of the rest of the kingdom, by openly recognising the Prince of Orange as 
Sovereign of England, under the title of William HI., and offered him their 
cordial and grateful acknowledgments in an address of congratulation, dated 
December 14th, 1688. 

William, together with Mary, his Princess, were proclaimed King and 
Queen of England, Franqe, and Ireland, in this dty, on the 17th of Feb- 
ruary, 1680, in the presence of many thousands of spectators. In the month 
of October following, the river Ouse so much overflowed its banks, that 
during three successive days the use of boats was necessary at the west end 
of the bridge. . 

A number of Danish soldiers, amounting to 5,000 foot and 1,000 horse, 
commanded by the Duke of Wirtemburg, were quartered in York and its 
neighbourhood during the winter of this year, and they took their departure 
for Ireland in the following spring. 

Nearly thirty houses were consumed by fire in High Ousegate, on tlie 
night of Monday, the dnd of April, 1694. The fire broke out on the premises 
of Mr. Charles HaJl, a flax dresser, and in a short time it raged with such 
violence, that the houses on both sides of the way were enveloped in one 

* Sir John Beresby's Memoirs. 




tremendous conflagration. The loss was computed at £30,000. In 1606, 
one of the Ejng*s mints was erected in the Manor House, at York, and 
bullion and plate was there coined to the amount of £380,621. 

In the month of May, 1722, a great flood happened at Eipponden, in the 
parish of Halifax. Between the hours of three and five in the afternoon, the 
water rose twenty-one feet perpendicular, and bore down in its course many 
bridges, mills, and houses, and several lives were lost Part of the church- 
yard was washed away, the graves were laid open, and a coffin floated down 
the stream a considerable distance. The church was so much damaged, that 
a new chapel ¥ras built soon after the flood. 

The summer of the following year was remarkable for a great and general 
drought. At York, the river to the base of the middle arch of Ouse Bridge 
was completely dry for several yards round. 

No public transaction of material consequence occurred in the city or 
county of 'York, firom the period of the accession of William and Mary till 
the memorable rebellion of 1745. In the annals of England there have been 
many struggles for the crown, sometimes terminating fJEivourably on one side, 
sometimes on the other ; that which took place between the Pretender, the 
lineal descendant of our Scottish Kings, and the House of Hanover, is one of 
the most memorable, and is the last that we have had in England in the 
shape of civil war and bloodshed. Many of the most powerful of the 
Scottish chieftains — ^renowned for the antiquity of their fkmilies, their ex- 
tensive domains, and the affection bom them by their dependents — ^were 
arrayed on the side of the Pretender. The attachment of the highland clans 
to their chieftains, and which is undying, is transmitted from generation to 
generation, and to this time it remains in nearly all its patriarchal purity. 
Relying upon the ancient aifection which subsisted between his family and 
these hardy mountaineers, the Chevalier, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, 
eldest son of the Pretender — and, as he is generally called, the " young Pre- 
tender" — ^resolved to try his fortune amongst them, and regain for his family 
that rule which had formerly resided with his progenitors. For this purpose, 
after escaping the vigilance of the English cruisers, which, from information 
received by the English government, had been sent out to intercept him, he 
landed on the coast of Scotland, on the 25th of July, 1745. 

The first account of his landing was scarcely credited ; and when the news 
had become fully established, all Europe was astonished at the daring enter- 
prise. Upon promulgating his intentions, the brave clans assembled around 
him, hoisted their banners, and early in November he marched southward, 
and entered England with the Duke of Perth, the Marquis of Tullibardine, 


the Earl of Kilmarnock, and an army of about 8000 or 9000 men. On the 
9th of that month they laid siege to Carlisle, which was feebly garrisoned ; 
and on the 15th, the gates were thrown open to the rebel army, and 
Charles Edward was proclaimed King of England at the cross in the Mar- 
ket-place. The Corporation attended the ceremony in their robes, with the 
mace and sword carried before them, and on their knees they presented the 
keys of the city to the Prince. From Carlisle the Scots marched southward 
as far as Derby, at which point divisions arose amongst them ; they hesitated, 
retreated, and arrived at Carhsle on the 19 th of December, in great con- 
fusion, the Duke of Cumberland's horse pressing upon their rear. Next day 
the Prince moved northward, leaving 400 men in the garrison of Carlisle. 
The Duke reached the latter city on the 21st, at the head of his army, and 
commenced the siege. The rebel garrison, animated with great courage and 
fidelity to their Prince, made a gallant but unavailing defence, for on the SOth 
of December the Castle wad surrendered to the King's tioops, and the 
garrison was made prisoners of. 

Of the Manchester regiment who surrendered themselves prisoners, there 
were Colonel Townley, 5 Captains, 6 Lieutenants, 7 Ensigns, 1 Acyutant, 
and 93 non-commissioned officers ; and in addition to the Governor and Sur- 
geon, there were 16 officers and 266 non-commissioned officers and private 
men of the Scotch, making a total number of 896 prisoners, including Cop- 
pock, commonly called the " Mock Bishop" Many of the officers, including 
Townley, Governor of the city, and Hamilton, Governor of the Castle, were 
executed in London, with all the revolting and disgusting details observed in 
cases of high treason ; and their heads were exhibited on Temple Bar, Lon- 
don Bridge, and in public situations in Carlisle, Manchester, and other places. 
Majiy others who were concerned afterwards died on the block, including the 
Earl of Derwentwater ; about 50 were executed as deserters in different parts 
of Scotland ; and 81 suffered as traitors after the decisive battle of CuUoden, 
which was fought in the month of April following, and which sealed the fJEite 
of Charles Edward, who now became a fugitive, and at length escaped to 
France, after the failure of the second attempt of the expelled house of Stuart 
to restore themselves to the throne of their ancestors. 

During this rebellion, the city as well as the county of York gave the most 
unequivocal proofs of loyalty to the reigning dynasty. The Archbishop pro- 
jected an association, consisting of more than 800 of the principal nobility, 
gentry, and clergy, of the county, which was formed at the Castle of York, 
on the 34th day of September, 1745. A subscription was immediately 
entered into, and the sum of JS31,4S0. was raised for the support of the 


Goyemment and the defence of the oountj. John Raper, the Lord Major, 
convened a meeting of the inhabitants for the same purpose, when the sub- 
scription in the city amounted to jSd,4dO., and to iS330. in the Ainsty. 
With these sums four companies of in&ntry, of serenty men each, exclusiYe 
of sergeants, corporals, and drummers, were raised, and designated the 
** Yorkshire Blues.'* They remained embodied about four months, the su- 
perior officers serving without pay, and the sergeants receiving 14s., the 
drummers, lOs., and the privates, 7s. per week. Another military body, 
called the " Independents," was formed, for the defence of the city, by the 
gentLemen and other principal inhabitants. Their uniform and accoutre- 
ments were purchased at their own ezpence, and the corps remained undeor 
anus ten months. 

On the 29th of May, 1746, the Prince of Hesse passed one night in York, 
on his way from Scotland to London. On the 23rd of July, in the same 
year, his Boyal Highness the Duke of Cumberland, on his return to London 
£rom the defeat of the rebeb at the battle of GuUoden, visited York, and was 
received with all the honours due to his illustrious rank and eminent services. 
On this occasion the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Sheriffs, presented him 
with the £reedom of the city in a gold box. A number of the rebels were 
tried and convicted at York, and of these twenly-two were executed. The 
heads of two of them, William Conolly and James Mayne, were fixed upon 
poles over Micklegate Bar, from whence they were stolen in the night of the 
SSth of January, 1754, by a tailor of York, named William Arundell, assisted 
by his journeyman. Arundell was tried and convicted for the offence at the 
Spring Assizes following, and sentenced to pay a fine a fine of £5., and to be 
imprisoned two years. 

Li 1757 the new regulations for levying the Mihtia, which obliged the 
poor to contribute equally with the rich, produced a spirit of insubordination 
in the North and East Hidings of Yorkshire, and on the 15th of September, 
a large body of the country people, from more than thirty parishes, assembled 
at York, with intent to prevent the constables from presenting the Hsts of 
men subject to the ballot. Armed with clubs and other unlawful weapons, 
they proceeded to the Cockpit-house, without Bootham Bar, where the deputy 
Lieutenants and chief constables were to have assembled ; and not meeting 
with the first named officers as they expected, they forced the lists firom such 
constables as were in attendance, and after drinking all the liquors, they 
demolished the house. They then plundered and destroyed the house of Mr. 
Bowes, on the opposite side of the street, and threatened to pull down the 
houses of other persons whom they considered as promoters or favourers of 


the Militia Act At length the rioters were prevailed upon to disperse, by 
the Lord Mayor and High Sheriff; and at the ensuing Assizes several of 
them were tried and acquitted. Only one, named George Thurloe, received 
sentence of death, but his punishment was afterwards commuted to trans- 
portation for life. A man of the name of Cole was condemned and executed 
for being the leader of a riot, on the same occasion, in the East Riding. 

On the 18th of July, 1761, Edward, Duke of York, passed through this 
city on his way to Scarborough, whither he was going for the benefit of his 
health. During his sojourn at the latter place, the Lord Major (Thomas 
Bowes, Esq.), the Recorder (Peter Johnson, Esq.), and two senior Aldermen, 
waited upon his Royal ELighness, to request that he would honour York, on 
lus return, by spending some tune in the dty. The Duke was pleased to ac- 
cept the invitation, the Manor House was offered for his accommodation, and 
on the 19th of August he arrived at York. He alighted at the Minster, sur- 
veyed that splendid edifice, and then proceeded to the Mansion House, the 
streets being lined with Colonel Thornton's Militia. At the Mansion House 
the royal visitor was received by the Lord Mayor, Recorder, Aldermen, and 
Sheriffs ; and the freedom of the city was presented to him, in a gold box of 
the value of 100 guineas. The Duke dined with the Lord Mayor, the Eail 
of Gainsborough, and a great number of the gentiy, at the Mansion House ; 
and in the evening he opened a ball at the Assembly Rooms, .with the sister 
of Sir John Lister Kaye, Bart., then High Sheriff of the county. He lodged 
that night at the Mansion House, and on the following morning repaired to 
the race-ground, where he reviewed Colonel Thornton's Militia. He break- 
fasted at the grand stand, and after communicating the usual compliments of 
satisfaction, &c,, proceeded to London.* 

The King of Denmark, attended by many of his nobles and a numerous 
retinue, feivoured York with a short visit on the dlst of August in the same 
year. His Majesty was pleased to receive the formalities of the Coipoiation ; 
and the following day he left York, after vievnng the Cathedral and the 
Assembly Rooms ; and he returned by way of Leeds and Manchester to 

On the 8th of January, 1762, war was formally declared in York against 
the King of Spain ; and on the following day a similar declaration was read 
at the Castle, by the under Sheriff, in the presence of the High Sheriff of the 
county, attended by two regiments of Militia and several gentlemen. 

In the same year a violent hurricane was experienced at York. It com- 

* Hargrove's Histoiy of York, vol. i., p. 286. 


menced at nine o'clock on the evening of Saturday, the let of December, and 
oontinued till eight the next morning. Part of the batdement at the west 
end of the Minster was blown down, and many bouses in the city were yery 
much damaged. 

Edward, the royal Duke, who derived his title from this ancient metro* 
pedis, again visited York on the 18th of August^ 1766 ; and on that occasion 
he patronized the national sport, by honouring with his presence the races 
on Ejiavesmire. Never was a more brilliant race meeting at York than this. 
On Sunday, his Royal Highness attended divine service at the Cathedral, at 
the west door of which he was received by the residentary Canons and choir, 
as well as by the Lord Mayor, Recorder, and Aldermen, and conducted to the 
archiepisoopal throna On Monday he set out for Mr. Cholzaley*8 seat, at 
Housham, on his way to Scarborough ; and on the 6th of September he left 
Scarborough, and passed through York, en route to the Earl of Mexborough's 
seat at Methley, from wbence he proceeded to London. 

Count de Guigues, the French Ambassador, being on a tour to the north, 
passed through York on the S2nd of October, 177d. He was honoured 
with a guard of General Mordaunt's dragoons ; but not approving of the for- 
mality, he gave the men twelve guineas, and dismissed them. Li the month 
of September, 1777, a slight shock of an earthquake was experienced at York; 
but it was felt more violently at the same time at Leeds and Manchester. 

In the year 1779 the inhabitants of the Yorkshire coast were frequently 
thrown into a state of alarm by that intrepid Anglo-American buccaneer, 
Paul Jones. " This man had formerly been in the service of the Earl of 
Selkirk, whence he was expelled with disgrace," writes Allen,* " and having 
repaired to America, he volunteered to make a descent on the British coast. 
Being at first entrusted with the command of a privateer, he landed on the 
coast of Scotland, and, in resentment, plundered the mansion of his former 
master; he also burnt several vessels at Whitehaven, and performed a num- 
ber of other daring exploits. These services insured his promotion, and 
procured him the command of a small squadron, consisting of the Bon Homme 
Richard, and the Alliance, each of forty guns ; the Pallas, of thirty-two guns; 
and the Vengeance, armed brig. With this force he made many valuable 
captures, insulted the coast of Lneland, and even threatened the city of Edin- 
buiigh. On Monday, the dOth of September, 1770, an express arrived at 
Bridlington, from the bailiffo of Scarborough, with intelligence that an enemy 
was cruising o£f the ooast The same night the hostile squadron was des- 

^ History of Yorkshire, pp. 104, 195. 


cried off Flamborough, and it was soon discovered that Paul Jones was the 
commander. In the night of Tuesdaji a krge fleet of British coasting vessels 
sailed into the bay of Bridlington, and the harbour became so completelj 
crowded) that a great number could only find security in being chained to 
each other on the outside of the piers. Two companies of the Northumber- 
land Militia, then quartered in the town, were called to arms by beat of drum 
after midnight, and the inhabitants, armed witli such weapons as could be 
most readily procured, proceeded to muster at the Quay, while a number of 
the more opulent were making preparations for sending their fftmiliflB into 
the interior. Business was now completely at a stand, and the attention of 
all was directed to the expected invasion. On Thursday a valuable fleet of 
British merchantmen, from the Baltic, under the convoy of the Serapis, 
Captain Pearson, of forty-four guns ; and the Countess of Scarborough, Cap- 
tain Piercey, of twenty-two guns, hove in sight, and were chased by the 
enemy. The first care of Captain Pearson was to place himself between the 
enemy and his convoy ; by which manceuvre he enabled the whole of the 
merchantmen to escape in safety into the port of Scarborough. Night had 
now come on, but the moon shone with unusual brightness. About half-past 
seven o*clock the thunder of the cannon announced thai the ^igagement bad 
commenced, and the inhabitants of the coast, on hastening to the cUBrn, were 
presented with the sublime spectacle of a naval engagement by moonlight 
The battle raged with unabated fiuy for two hours, when at length Captain 
Pearson, who was engaged by the two largest of the enemy^s fieigatas, waa 
compeQed to surrender. Captain Piercey made also a long and gallant de- 
lence against a superior force, but he waa in the end obliged to strike to the 
Pallas. The enemy purchased the victory at a prodigious price, not less than 
three hundred men being killed or wounded in the Bon Homme Richard 
alone, which vessel received so much injury, that she sunk the next day with 
many of the wounded on board.** 

In 178d orders were issued by Government for a general aasodation, to 
enable tlie inhabitants of Britain to resist an invasion, said to have been in- 
tended by the Monarchs of France and Spain, assisted by the Dutch. In 
answer to this order, a corps of gentlemen volunteers were embodied at York* 
who provided tiieir own arms and accoutrements, but were under no other 
control than that of the civil magistrates ; and four companies of men in 
humbler lifo were embodied, supported, and paid out of a general subscription 
raised for the purpose, and to which the Corporation generously voted the sum 
of iS500.i' The latter corps, however, were under military law, and were 

• Hargrove's Histoiy of York, vol. i., p. 257. 



liable to be marched out to any part of the kingdom, in case of actual in- 
vasion or rebellion. 

On the dOth of July, 1782, that celebrated statesman, the Marquis of 
Rockingham, Lord Lieutenant of the county, was buried in the Cathedral 
with much ceremony and solemnity. Several members of a political society- 
formed in York, under the patronage of this distinguished nobleman, and in 
honour of him called the " Rockingham Club," assembled in the Minster 
Yard, and thence proceeded in a body to Dringhouses, about one mile and 
a half from the city. At this place they met the corpse, attended by 
a numerous cavalcade, which they joined ; and the procession, which con- 
sisted of about 200 citizens on horseback, two and two ; several gentlemen 
bearing banners, bannerols, &c., attended by pages; the hearse, bearing 
escutcheons, and containing the body, in a coffin covered with crimson velvet 
superbly ornamented ; six mourning coaches with six horses each ; and 
twenty carriages with the principal gentlemen of the county and city ; moved 
with slow and solemn pace to the Cathedral. The body was placed in the 
choir during evening prayers, and then deposited in the vault with great 

In the winter of 1784, which was exceedingly severe all over Europe, the 
river Ouse was firmly frozen during eight successive weeks. The labouring 
classes of society suffered much, but a subscription was raised, and bread and 
coals were distributed gratis to upwards of 6,000 indigent individuals. The 
price of coals was so enhanced with the carriage by land, that they were 
sold at 80s. per chaldron. The effects of the thaw were very unpleasant. 
The Ouse rose so high that the houses in many parts were inundated, and 
the inhabitants were obliged to move about in carts. 

On Monday, the dlst of August, 1789, the Prince of Wales, afterwards 
Ejng George TV., accompanied by his royal brother, the Duke of York, 
visited the races of this city. Their Royal Highnesses arrived in their car- 
riage, and alighted at some distance from the Grand Stand, where they rode 
about on horseback, to gratify public curiosity with a sight of their persons. 
At the conclusion of the day's sport they entered the carriage of the Earl 
Fitzwilliam, and proceeded towards the city. At Micklegate Bar the popu- 
lace took the horses from the carriage, and drew them through the streets 
amidst loud congratulations. The following day the Corporation presented 
the Heir-apparent with the freedom of the city, in an elegant gold box ; and 
on Thursday in the same week, his Royal Highness dined with the Lord 
Mayor, at the Mansion House, in company with the Dukes of Norfolk, Bed- 
ford, and Queensberry ; the Earls of Derby, Einnoul, and Fauconbei^g ; the 

2 N 


Lords Clermont, Downe, Loughborough, Henry Fitzgerald, Rawden, Grey, 
Fitzroj, Fielding, and George Henry Cavendish ; Sir William Milner, Sir 
Thomas Dundas, Sir James Sinclair, Sir George Armitage, &c. On the 
following Saturday these two royal personages proceeded to Castle Howard, 
the seat of the Earl of Carlisle, having previously ordered Lieutenant Colonel 
St Leger to pay into the hands of Walter Fawkes, Esq., High Sheriff of the 
county, 200 guineas for the relief of debtors in the Castle. Th^ also gave 
twenty guineas for the purpose of clothing some female convicts, who had 
been ordered for transportation ; and, in addition to these benevolent donar 
tions, the Prince of Wales discharged the debts of three prisoners in Ouse- 
Bridge Gaol, and performed several other acts of charity. 

That eminent statesman, Charles James Fox, visited York on Monday in 
the August race week, 1791, and whilst approaching the city, seated in a 
carriage with the Earl Fitzwilliam, the populace took the horses from the 
carriage, and drew it through the principal streets to the Deaiiery. A grand 
dinner was given to him, and many noblemen and gentlemen, at the Mansion 
House, and he was presented with the freedom of the city, m a gold box 
of the value of fifty guineas. 

On the Idth of January, 1792, a singular meteoric appearance — an aerial 
army — was observed near the village of Stockton-in-the-Forest, about four 
miles from York, by many persons of credit and respectability. This strange 
atmospherical phenomenon resembled a large army, in separate divisions, 
some in black and others in white uniforms ; one of these divisions formed a 
line that seemed nearly a mile in extent, and in the midst of which appeared 
a number of fir trees, which moved along with the line. These aerial troopers 
moved with great rapidity and in different directions.* 

In the month of June, 1794, the country at large being in a very unsettled 
state, the respectable inhabitants of York enrolled themselves in different 
corps of infantry, and provided themselves with uniforms, arms, &c, ; but the 

o On the 23rd of June, 1744, about seven o'clock in the evening, troops of horsemen 
were seen riding along the side of SouterfeU (Cumberland) in pretty dose ranks, and 
at a brisk pace. Opposite Blake hills they passed over the mountain, after describing a 
kind of curvilineal path. They continued to be seen for upwards of two hours, the 
approach of darkness alone preventing them fVom being visible. Many troops were seen 
in succession, and frequently the last but one in a troop quitted his position, galloped 
to the front, and took up the same i>ace with the rest About twenty-six persons in 
perfect health saw these aerial troopers. — Clarke's Sturvey of the Ldkei. Similar phe- 
nomena were seen at Harrogate, on the 28th of June, 1812 ; and near St. Neots, in 
Huntingdonshire, in 1620. Aerial phenomena of a like nature are recorded by Iivy» 
Josephus, and Suetonius ; and a passage in Sacred History seems to refer to a like cir- 
cumstance. (See Judges, ix., 36). Philosophers aooount for these appearances on ti^e 


non-commissioned officers were regularly paid, hj a general subscription 
raised for that purpose, towards which the Corporation contributed £500. 
This loyul body of infantry assembled on Enavesmire, on the 28th of De- 
cember following, when they were presemted with colours by the Lady 
Mayoress, in the name of the ladies of York. 

In November, 1796, Prince William Frederick of Gloucester visited 
Scarborough, and, on his return to the south, spent some time in York, and 
was presented with the freedom of the city in a gold box, with the usual 
formalities. He left; York on the 12th of January, 1796. 

In 1805, the Right Hon. John, Earl of St Vincent, the great naval com- 
mander, honoured this city with a visit, and received its freedom in a box of 
" Heart of Oak." 

At the Assizes held at York, in March, 1809, Mary Bateman, a celebrated 
''Yorkshire Witch," was tried and condemned for murder. This wretched 
creature had previously lived in York as a servant, but left it in disgrace, 
being charged with a petty theft, and retired to Leeds, where she married. 
For a long penod she practised the art and mystery of fortune telling at 
Leeds, dduding multitudes, defruuding them of their property under the false 
pretence of giving them a " peep into futurity." To enable her to accomplish 
her viUany, and in order to prevent detection of the fraud, there is reason to 
believe that, with the aid of the poisonous cup, she closed the mouths of 
many for ever. For one of these murders she was committed to York Castle, 
tried, found guilty, and on Monday, the 20th of March, she was executed, at 
the new drop behind the Castle, in the presence of an immense concourse of 
people ; and such was the stupid in&tuation of the crowd, that many are said 
to have entertained the idea, that at the last moment she would evade the 
punishment, about to be inflicted, by her supernatural powers. And to view 
her lifeless remains — perhaps with a view of proving that she was of a verily 
dead— crowds of people assembled at Leeds, though the hearse did not arrive 

principle of atmospherioal refhiction. Many in this countiy considered them as ominous 
of the great waste of blood spilt by Britain in her wars with America and France. 
Shakespeare says, in the tragedy of Julius Csesar, — 

** There ie one within, 
ReeovBto most horrid vUou teen to-night : 
Fierce flery warriore foaght upon the doadi, 
Which drioled blood npon the Capitol ; 
The iMriae of battle hurtled in the air. 

And ghoets did shriek and gibber in the streets. 

• • • • 

When these piodigies do so eo^joiiitljr meet, 

Let no man say they are natural ; for I beliere 

They ai« portentous things unto the dfanate that they point upon." 


there till near midnight, atid each paid threepence for a sight W the body ; 
by which £S0. accrued to the benefit of the General Infirmary. 

On the occasion of his Majesty George m. having entered the 60th year 
of his reign, the anniversary, October 26th (1809), was celebrated throughout 
the country as a day of jubilee. At York, several hundred pounds were 
collected at a public meeting, and expended — not in wasteful and unmeaning 
illuminations — but in feeding the hungry, and in relieving the indigent. 
Public breakfasts, ward dinners, private treats, and balls were " the order of 
the day." The Archbishop treated sixty-four debtors in the Castle with beef, 
bread, ale, and coals ; and even the felons shared in the festivity. There was 
a partial illumination in the city ; and the soldiers in the barracks fired a 
feu dejois, and illuminated their apartments. 

On the 26th of August, 1822, the city of York was honoured with a visit 
firom his Boyal Highness the Duke of Sussex, brother to the reigning mo- 
narch of that day, George lY . The Boyal Duke partook of the hospitalities 
of the Corporation at the Mansion House, where a public dinner was given 
to him. The freedom of the city was presented to him in a gpld box, accom- 
panied by an address expressive of the admiration of that " splendid career 
of useful beneficence and spirited patriotism which gave a brilliant lustre to 
his exalted birth." The Duke was on this occasion the guest of Robert 
Chaloner, Esq., M.P. for the city. In the year 1841 the same noble Duke 
paid a second visit to York, for the purpose of holding a grand masonic lodge. 
He then sojourned at the York Tavern (now Harker*s Royal Hotel), which 
for a time was called the Royal Sussex Hotel. 

Since the reign of Charles I., York, which was, as we have seen, in former 
times the residence of Emperors and Kings, has not been visited by any 
English Sovereign (though it has often been honoured with the presence of 
different branches of the Royal family) down to the time of our present Queen. 
In September, 1836, her Msyesty, then the Princess Victoria, and her mother, 
the Duchess of Kent, visited York, and were received with the most un- 
bounded loyalty. The royal party attended the Musical Festival at the 
Minster on each of the four days upon which it was held, and during their 
stay at York, they were the guests of the Archbishop at Bishopthorpe 
Palace. For this attention to these illustrious visitors, the Lord Mayor 
(the late Sir John Simpson) received the honour of knighthood fi-om his late 
Majesty, William IV., in 1836. 

On the 21st of July, 1840, the Archeological Institute of Great Britain 
and Ireland held their annual meeting here, under the presidency of Earl 
FitzwilHam. The members visited the different objects of interest in the 


city and neighbourhood, and an exhibition of British antiquities was held 
in St. Peter 8 schoolroom in the Minster Yard. 

In July, 1848, his Royal Highness the late Duke of Cambridge, accom- 
panied by his son Geoige, the present Duke, and other illustrious personages, 
attended the annual show of the Royal Agricultural Society at York, and 
dined with the company in the large pavilion erected for that purpose on 
St. George's Close. 

On the 28th of September, 1849, the Queen, the Prince Consort, and the 
royal children, stopped at York on their return from Balmoral (their Highland 
residence) to London, on which occasion the royal party partook of luncheon 
at the Station Hotel ; a loyal address was presented by the Lord Mayor, and 
great rejoicings were made on the occasion. 

On Friday, the 25th of October, 1850, York was the scene of a magnifi- 
cent festival, which must be remembered as one of the most interesting events 
in civic history ; whether regarded for the splendour of the assembly, or in 
connection with the great event which it was mainly designed to propitiate ; 
namely, the great Industrial Exhibition of the products of all nations in the 
Crystal Palace, erected in Hyde Park, London, in 1851. 

The Lord Mayor of London having given a grand entertainment with the 
same patriotic object; and at which his Royal Highness Prince Albert and 
the Mayors and chief magistrates of the principal towns of the kingdom were 
present ; it was thought but natural that this example should be followed by 
the great Corporations of the country. It was, accordingly, agreed at a 
meeting of the Mayors and other civic authorities held at Derby, to cany out 
the proposition of the Lord Mayor of York, the Right Hon. George H. Sey- 
mour, to give a return bajiquet in this cily. A subscription was entered into 
for the purpose of enabling the Lord Mayor of York, in conjunction with the 
municipalities of the united kingdom, to receive the Prince Consort and the 
Lord Mayor of London on a scale of becoming magnificence. The prepara- 
tions for this banquet were on the most splendid scale, and, as was well 
remarked by the leading journal of the day, " York, the home of the Roman 
Emperors, when London was comparatively neglected by the masters of the 
ancient world, made a display worthy of the far-famed city, that gave a grave 
to Severus and to Constantino Chlorus, and afforded a rallying cry to the 
haughty fiEustions which fought for the English throne." 

The Guild-Hall was fitted up for the occasion in most superb style ; and 
invitations were issued for 248 guests, the fiill extent of the accommodation 
afforded by that splendid room. Prince Albert arrived by railway from 
London, and was received at the York station by the Lord Mayor of York, 


attended by a guard of honour, and was conducted to Lord Wenlock's car- 
riage, which was in waiting, and in which the Prince drove to the Mansion 
House, attended bj an escort. His Royal Highness ¥ras received at the 
Mansion House by a guard of honour of the 2nd, or Queen's Dragoon Guards, 
under the command of Gol. Campbell, the band of the regiment playing the 
National Anthem. The Prince was conducted to the state room of the 
building, where several persons were presented to him. At the Rec^tiony 
the Lord Mayor of York appeared in a crimson silk robe, lined with sholrpink 
satin ; this being, according to Dugdale, the peculiar robe of the privileged 
chief magistrate of this ancient city when appearing before royalty. 

Amongst the distinguished company at the banquet were his Royal High- 
ness Prince Albert, the Bight Hon. the Lord Mayor of London, the Right 
Hon. the Lord Mayor of York, the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, the Arch- 
bishop of York, Lord John Russell, the Marquisses of Clanricarde and Aber- 
com, the Earl of Carlisle, the Earls Granville, FitzwiUiam, and Minto, Lords 
Beaumont, Feversham, and Overstone, Sir George Grey, Bart, Sir Charles 
Wood, Bart, the Hon. Bielby R. Lawley, the High Sheriff of Yorkshire, Sir 
C. Tempest, Bart, Hon. O. Duncombe, General Sir W. Warre, Sir J. V. B. 
Johnstone, Bart, the Members of Parliament for the city, the Recorder, the 
Sheriff of York, Richard Cobden, Esq., and nearly one hundred Mayors and 
heads of boroughs. The general appearance of the fine old Gothic hall was 
elegant in the extreme. The great west window was covered with crimson 
cloth, in order to secure a better effect to a magnificent ornamental design of 
M. Soyer*s, erected in front of the window, and immediately behind the great 
circular table, at which sat the chief guests. It consisted of a large emble- 
matic vase, twenty feet in height, painted and modelled by Mr. Alfred Adams. 
Around the vase was Britannia receiving specimens of industry from the four 
quarters of the globe. Round a palm tree, which sprung from the centre, 
were the arms of London and York. MedaDian portraits of the Queen and 
Prince Albert, surrounded by the shields of the principal cities and towns in 
the United Kingdom, formed the body of the vase. Two figures of Ireland 
and Scotland formed the handles ; the Prince of Wales's emblem, the neck ; 
and the Royal Arms, the apex. Appended were graceful wreaths of flowers, 
in which predominated the symbols of the houses of York and Lancaster, the 
red and white rose ; and when a brilliant flood of gas-light, aided by power- 
ful reflectors, was thrown upon this splendid decoration, the ^fect was very 
beautiful. The whole of this part of the hall was profusely and elegantly 
adorned with crimson drapery, vases of flowers, evergreens, banners, Ac. 

In firont of the principal table, on a raised platform, covered with purple 


doth, was a collection of maces, state swords, and raluable civic insignia, 
belonging to the various Corporate bodies; and these ancient maces, which 
had been wielded by generations of Mayors, with the velvet sheaths and 
gaudy mountings of the gigantic swords of state, formed a picturesque group. 
The waUs of the hall were hung with crimson cloth to the height of about ten 
feet, as were also the oak pillars. Above were suspended several of the fiill 
length portraits from the Mansion House. The banners of the several 
Mayors, suspended from the roof arcades, the gallery, &c., were characteristi- 
cally splendid ; they bore the arms of the several cities and boroughs whence 
they were sent ; the banner of York, worked by the Lady Mayoress, was con- 
spicuous to the right of the chair, and the banner of London to the left. At 
the east end of the hall was erected a handsome gallery, for an orchestia and 
a limited number of ladies to witness the banquet It was ornamented with 
crimson drapery, oil paintings, banners, evergreens, flowers, &c. Besides the 
oidinarily pendant gas-lights between' the pillars of the arcade on each side, 
there were in the body of the hall eight variegated Gothic lanterns ; three 
suspended from the roof in the north aisle ; three in the south aisle ; one at 
either end of the middle aisle, in the centre of which there was a chandelier, 
its pendant stem entwined with the figure of a serpent formed in gas. The 
two pillars of the haU nearest to the royal table were wreathed with ever- 
greens and flowers, and serpentine gas-lights, and the gallery was lit with 
pillars of gas and Gothic lanterns. The tables shone with epergnes, 
plateaux, centre pieces heaped up with pines, grapes, and the richest firuit, 
with silver plate beneath innumerable lights. Among the embellishments 
were various productionfl in patent glass silvering, prepared expressly for the 
occasions, as being peculiarly appropriate to a festival to celebrate the ap- 
proaching congress of the artistic industry of all nations. These specimens 
consisted of gilfc silvered, and bronised figures, bearing large globes of silvered 
g^ass. There were also three drinking-cups, one for the Prince, and one for 
the Lord Mayors of London and York ; the first in ruby glass, portions of 
the riffi and base internally checkered with silver, and on the sides bearing 
sunken medallions of her Majesty and his Royal Highness Prince Albert, and 
the Royal Arms of England. The other two cups were of the same size and 
shape, but instead of being ruby and silver, the colours were emerald and 
silver; and on the sides were the private arms of each of the Lord Mayors, 
together with the usual heraldic emblazonments of the cities of London and 
York respectively. The uncertainty of the Lord Mayor of Dublin*s arrival 
prevented a cup being prepared for him. 
After grace had been pronounced at the dose, as at the beginning of the 


banquet, " the loving cup " was passed round after the customary welcome was 
deHvered in the name of the Lord Mayor to all his guests, in the usual ciyic 
fetshion, by Mr. Harker, the London toast master, and a flourish of trumpets. 

The banquet was prepared under the superintendence of M. Soyer ; and 
one dish alone on the royal table cost the immense sum of one hundred 
guineas. The chief items in this Apician group were turtle and ortolans. 
The wines for the royal table were ordered at an unlimited price from Messrs. 
Chillingworth and Son, of London, wine merchants to the Queen. 

There was a grand concert and ball in the Assembly Room during the 
evening, and the whole city was brilliiuitly illuminated. Prince Albert, who 
was the guest of the Lord Mayor of York on the night of the banquet, retired 
from the company at midnight, and left the Mansion House at eight o^clock 
on the following morning. He was accompanied to the Bailway Station by 
the Lord Mayor, the Marquis of Abercom, Colonel Grey, Colonel Se3rmour, 
and others ; and upon his departure for London he thanked the Lord Mayor 
in the most flattering terms for the very satis£Bu;tory arrangements which had 
been made for his comfort and accommodation. 

On Thursday, the 14th of September, 1854, her Meyesty the Queen, ac« 
companied by the Prince Consort, and five of the youthful Princes and 
Princesses (including the Prince of Wales), and the ladies and gentlemen of 
the royal household, stopped at York en route for Balmoral, and partook of 
luncheon at the Station Hotel. The whole of the Railway Station was 
entirely cleared of carriages, and the ground between the rails being re-laid 
with gravel, gave it a neat and clean appearance. The arrival platform, for 
nearly its entire length, was covered with a beautiful tapestry carpet of 
splendid colours and design. On this platform were placed tables covered 
with suitable drapery, and upon them stood elegant vases of flowers. The 
platform entrance of the Hotel was decorated with flowers and evergreens, 
and immediately in front of it, in the pit of the Station, stood the band 
of the 7th Hussars, while a detachment of the same r^ment took up a 
position along the southern side of the pit Lower down, and on both plat- 
forms, were stationed 300 of the 3nd West York Light Infiantry, under the 
command of Colonel Smyth, M.P. ; the band of that regiment occupying a 
position at its head. About one o'clock the royal train entered the Station, 
and the royal party were received by the Lord Mayor (G^rge Leeman, Esq.), 
the Archbishop of York, the Earl of Carlisle, and the railway directors. The 
excitement of the hundreds who thronged the opposite platform attained its 
highest piteh when they caught a glimpse of the royal party. The heads of 
the gentlemen were uncovered, the soldiers presented the royal salute, while 


from the whole mass there rose one general, thrilling " huzza/* which, ming- 
ling with the National Anthem, struck up at first by the Militia band, and 
cau^^t up afterwards bj that of the 7th Hussars, formed one grand and 
enthusiastic oblation to Royalty, amid which the Queen, leaning on the arm 
of her royal consort, followed by five of her children in a ro\i(, and her suite, 
walked along the carpeted path to the hotel, on her way repeatedly acknow- 
ledging the loyal plaudits of her subjects. The Lord Mayor walked along 
with the royal couple to the hotel, where they were conducted into a hand- 
somely furnished room set apart for the purpose of refreshment, and from 
which a good view of the Minster, the Museum, St. Mary^s Abbey, &c., is 

The loom was decorated at one end by a device, consisting of the initials 
** v. R.*' and *' P. A.," formed of white artificial flowers, arranged on a crim- 
son ground, the whole being s^urrounded with flowers and eyergreens; and over 
the door was placed a representation of the Prince of Wales* feathers, also 
encircled with dahlias and evergreens, and bearing the motto, <' Ich dien.** 
The table was provided by Mr. HoUiday, the proprietor of the hotel, with the 


most sumptuous viands, wines, grapes, pines, &c. Two or three of the royal 
suite partook of refreshments with her Majesty, while the remainder were 
accommodated, in-suitable style, in an a4joining apartment. The decorations 
in the interior and exterior of the hotel presented a very tasteful appearance. 

The interval of half an hour, during which the royal visitors remained in 
the hotel, was enlivened by the performance of the two bands. The royal 
party then re-appeared on the platform in the same order as that which cha- 
racterised their arrival, and proceeded towards the train, which consisted of 
nine carriages, the one occupied by her Majesty being in the centre. The bands 
struck up once more " God save the Queen** — ^the spectators cheered their 
loudest — ^the soldiers again gave the royal salute — and after a few words with 
the Archbishop and the Earl of Carlisle, her Migesty, the Prince, and the 
royal family, entered the train. The Lord Mayor and several others of the 
North-Eastem board of directors then took their places in one of the carriages, 
and the train proceeded towards the north amidst the loud plaudits of an 
immense number of human beings who had assembled on the city walls. 
Tanner-row, Toft-green, and the entire district abutting on the line. The 
train was accompanied by electrical telegraph apparatus, so that in case of an 
accident, a communication could be made immediately for aid. 

Amongst those who accompanied the royal &mily were Sir George Grey, 
Bart., the Secretary for the Colonies ; Major-General the Hon. C. Grey ; the 
Duchess of Wellington and the Hon. Miss Stanley, maids of honour; Sir 



James Clarke, her Majesty's physician ; the Hon. Col. Phipps» eqneny to 
his Royal Highness ; and Miss Hildyard, governess to the royal children. 

Prior to the Queen's departure, Mr. Baines, of the Museum, had (he 
honour, through the Lord Mayor, of presenting to her Majesty a fine flower 
of the Victoria Begia, which was then in full hloom in the grounds of the 
Yorkshire Philosophical Society. 

The Minster bells, and those of other churches, rung a merry peal in 
honour of the royal visit. On her return from Scotland, oh the Idth of the 
following month, her Migesty en suite visited the towns of Kingston-upon- 
Hull- and Great Grimsby. The royal party arrived in the former town on 
the evening of that day — slept at the Station Hotel — went in prooesaion 
through the principal streets on the following morning, and departed in the 
royal yacht, the Fairy, about eleven o'clock on the same day for Grimsby. 
Thence the illustrious visitors proceeded by railway to London, and arrived 
at Windsor on the same evening. 

CIVIL GOVERNMENT, TITLES, &c.— The civil government of 
Yorkshire was anciently lodged in the Earl or Count to whom it was com- 
mitted by the King ; and in time it was intrusted to a person duly qualified, 
who was called Shire-reve, i.e.. Sheriff or Governor of a shire or county. 
Before the 9th Edward U, (1816), this officer was elected by the freeholders ; 
but since that time, the appointment has been made by the Sovereign. His 
office is to execute the King's writs, return juries, and keep the peace ; and 
his jurisdiction is called a Bailiwick, because he is the Bailiff of the Crown. 
York has had its own High Sheriff fix>m the 3rd of William the Conqueror, 

The office of Lord Lieutenant appears to have been introduced early in the 
reign of Henry VUL. The statutes of Philip and Mary speak of them as 
officers well known at that time, though Camden mentions them in the 
time of Queen Elizabeth, as extraordinary magistrates, constituted only in 
times of difficulty and danger.* The Lord Lieutenant is nominated by the 
Lord Chancellor, and is always a justice of the quorum, and to him the 
nomination of the Clerk of the Peace belongs. There are three of these 
officers for the county of York ; one for each of the three Ridings. 

The office of Gustos Botulorum, or Keeper of the rolls and records of the 
session of peace, is of considerable antiquity, but has been of late years an- 
nexed to that of Lord Lieutenant 

• ManniDg and Bray's Surrey, vol. L, p. zxt. introduotioD. 


Before the Conquest the Comites, or Earls of Northumberland, were also 
Governors of the city and county of York. Morcar was the last Earl of 
Northumberland before the Conquest, and he remained so till in the year 
1069 he revolted, and William gave this Earldom to Robert Copsi, or 
Gomins ; and he being dain, the Conqueror then bestowed it on Cospatric, 
who being deprived of it in 1073, he lastly gave the Earldom of Northum- 
berland to Waltheof, the son of Siward. Some authors doubt whether the city 
and county of York were included in this grant ; and seem rather to consider 
that it was only the present county of Northumberland and the bishopric of 
Duiham over which he presided. From this era Yorkshire was wholly dis- 
charged from the government of these Earls, and was placed under the 
jurisdiction of the vice-comites (anciently substitutes to the Earls), or High 
Sheri£& of the county. 

William le Gros, Earl of Albemarle, a great commander, was, by King 
Stephen, after the victory over the Scots at the famous Battle of the Stan- 
dard, in 1138, made Earl of Yorkshire, or according to some. Earl of York. 
This is the first and only mention that we find in histoiy of a tittilar Earl of 
Yorkshire. The first and only Earl of York was Otho, Duke of Saxony, son 
of Henry Leon, Duke of Bavaria, by Maud, the daughter of Henry U., King 
of England. This title was conferred upon Otho by his uncle, Richard I., 
during his sojourn in England in 1100. Whereupon some performed ho- 
mage and fealty to him, but others refusing, the King gave him as an 
exchange, the county of Poictiers. 

In the 9th of Bichard U. (1885), amongst several other creations, Edmund 
of Langley, fifth son of Edward m. and Queen Philippa, was made the first 
Duke of York. This Prince died at his manor of Langley, and was interred 
in the Priory there. Edward Plantagenet, Duke of Albemarle, his eldest 
son, after the death of his father succeeded to the Dukedom of York in 1406. 
He was slain at the fieunous battle of Agincourt, in 1416, and left no issue. 
The third Duke of York was the illustrious Richard Plantagenet, nephew of 
the second Duke, and son of Richard, Earl of Cambridge, who was executed 
for treason against Henry V. This nobleman having been restored to his 
paternal honours by Henry VI., and allowed to succeed to his uncle's inheri- 
tance, was one of the most powerful subjects in the kingdom. Being a 
descendant of King Edward m., he claimed the crown of England, and 
levied war against the King, which lasted for thirty years, and deluged the 
land with blood. (See page 151.) He was killed at the battle of Wakefield, 
and Margaret caused his head to be cut off and fixed over Micklegate Bar, 


York.* Richard was a brave man, but deficient in political courage, and 
was worthy of a better fate. Edward Plantagenet, the fourth Duke of York, 
the eldest son of the last Duke, prosecuted his father^s pretensions, and after 
the battle of Towton, he was proclaimed King of England, under the title of 
Edward lY., and thus the Dukedom of York became merged in the royal 
dignity. This monarch was remarkable for beauty of person, bravery, affii- 
hHity, and every popular quality, but in the end he defiled his fiune and 
power by efifeminacy and cruelty. 

Richard Plante^enet, of Shrewsbury, fifth Duke of York, second son of 
Edward IV., was created by his father when vexy young, on May 28th, 
1474. This unfortunate Prince is supposed to have been murdered in the 
Tower of London, with his elder brother, Edward V., by order of their uncle, 
the Duke of Gloucester, afterwards Richard HI., in 1483. 

The sixth was Henry Tudor, the second son of King Henry VII., who 
was created Duke of York on the 1st of November, 1491 ; and Prince of 
Wales, on the death of his brother Arthur, February 18th, 1503 ; and on 
the death of his royal father he succeeded to the throne, under the well 
known name of Henry VHI., and this dignity again became meiged in 
the Crown. From this period it has been customary to confer the Dukedom 
of York on the second son of the Sovereign. 

The next was Charles Stuart, second son of James I., who, whoa a 
child not full four years old, was created Duke of York. He was afterwards 
King of Great Britain, and the title again merged in the Crown. 

The eighth Duke was James Stuart, the second son of King Charles L, 
who was declared Duke of York at his birth, by his royal father, and so 
entitled, but not so created till January S7, 1643, by letters patent, bearing 
date at Oxford. Afterwards he ascended the throne of Great Britain, and 
the title merged in the Crown for the fourth time. 

On the 29th of June, 1716, the 2nd of George I., that monarch created 
his brother Earnest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick and Lunemburgh, Bishop 
of Osnaburgh (a nominal prelacy, to which the Elector of Hanover has the 
power of influencing the election alternately with another European power) 
Earl of Ulster in Ireland, and Duke of York and Albany in Great Britain; 
the honours to descend to the heirs male of his body, but he died without 

Edward Augustus, second son of Frederick Prince of Wales, bom in 
March, 1738 — 9, was the tenth Duke of York, his Royal Highness having 

• " So York may overlook the town of York." — Skakupeare, 


been raised to that dignity by his Msgesty Geoi^e IE., on the 1st of April, 
1760. On the dlst of March, 1761, he was appointed Rear Admiral of the 
Bine ; and in the coarse of a tour through Europe, he visited Monaco, capital 
of the principality of that name, in the territories of Genoa, in Upper Italy, 
where he was seized with a malignant fever, of which he died on the 7th of 
September, 1767. 

Frederick, the eleventh and last Duke of York, was brother of his Majesty 
King George IV., and second son of King George in., by whom he was ad- 
vance to &e dignities of Duke of the Kingdom of Great Britain, and Earl 
of the Kingdom of Ireland, by the titles of Duke of York and of Albany in 
Great Britain, and Earl of Ulster in Ireland. His Highness was bom on the 
16th of August, 1768 ; and on the d7th of the following February he was elected 
Bishop of Osnaburgh. From his earliest age he was destined for the mili- 
taiy profession, the study of which formed an essential part of his education. 
His first commission in the army was that of Colonel, which was dated Novem- 
ber 1st, 1780 ; he was appointed to the command of the 3nd regiment of 
Horse-Grenadier Guards on the dSrd of March, 1782 ; Msgor-General on the 
30th of November following; and Colonel of the Coldstream Guards, with the 
rank of Lieutenant-General, on the d7th of October, 1784. On the d7th of 
the following month he was created Duke of York, &c., after these titles had 
been extinct for seventeen years — ^from the period of the death of his uncle 
Edward, in 1767. On the 29th of September, 1791, he was married at Berlin 
to Frederica Charlotta Ulrica Catharine, only child of King Frederick William 
of Prussia, by his first consort, Elizabeth Ulrica Christiana, Princess of 
Brunswick-WolfenbutteL The royal pair were, on their arrival in England, 
re-married at the Queen's house on the 23rd of November following. On the 
occasion of his marriage the Duke had voted him by Parliament the sum of 
J618,000. per annum ; and the King settled on him £7,000. for his Irish 
revenues, which, in addition to the £12,000. per annum he before ei\joyed, 
constituted a yearly income of £87,000. At the same time the sum of 
£8,000. per annum was voted to the Duchess, in case she should survive. 

In 1793 the Duke was called into active military service by being ap- 
pointed to the command of an army ordered for Flanders, to form part of the 
grand army under the Prince of Saxe Coburg. After the campaign, which 
lasted for several months, the Duke proceeded to England to concert with 
the British government the plans and measures for the ensuing campaign. 
His Royal Highness returned in the month of February, 1794, from England 
to Courtrai — ^the British head-quarters, and in a few days the new campaign 
had bogun. It is not within the scope or province of this history to follow 


the Duke through his numerous engagements, suffice it to say that after a 
series of successes, and a succession of disappointments, the allies were at 
length no longer able to oppose the enemy, and on the 14th of April, 1795, 
the different British brigades embarked for England. 

In February, 1795, the Duke of York was appointed to the important post of 
Commander-in-Chief of the army. In 1799 the Duke again appeared in the 
field. He landed at Holland on the 13th of September, and the force under 
his coihmand, including 1,000 Russians, amounted to nearly 35,000 men. 
An engagement with the French took place on the 8th of October, in which 
the enemy was entirely defeated, with a loss exceeding 4,000 killed, and 3,000 
taken prisoners. The British lost about 1,600 men. In another engage- 
ment, which followed soon after, the Duke was again master of the field of 
battle, though the loss amounted to 1,300 British luid 700 Russians. On 
the 17th of October a suspension of arms was agreed on, and it was stipulated 
that the English and Russians should be allowed to evacuate Holland, on 
condition that 8,000 seamen, either Batayian or French, prisoners in Eng- 
land, should be giyen up to the French. 

In July, 1814, and again at the same period in the following year, both 
houses of Parliament passed a vote of thanks to the Duke of York for the 
benefits he had bestowed on the nation as Commander-in-Chief in the wars 
then concluded. His Royal Highness died on the 5th of January, 1837, and 
his remains lay in state in St James's Palace for several days, and were de- 
posited in the royal vault at Windsor on the dOth of the same month. On 
the decease of the Duke the titie of York became extinct ; but it is probable 
that Prince Alfred, the second son of our present Queen, will be created the 
next Duke of York. 

The following is a list of such places in Yorkshire as have been the capital 
residences of Barons by tenure, or by writ of summons ; or have given tide 
to Peers created such by letters patent: — * 

Aske — B Sir Thomas Dundas, second Baronet hj patent, August 13, 1794. Baron 

Dundas, of Aske. 
Beverley — M James Douglas, second Duke of Queensbuiy, in Scotland, by patent, May 

26, 1708. Extinct on the decease of his son, 1778. 
2 E Algernon Percy, second Baron Louvaine of Alnwick, by patent, November 2, 1700. 
Bingley— J3 Robert Benson, by patent, July 21, 1713. Extinct on his decease in 1730. 
Bolton— B Thomas Orde, by patent, October 20, 1707. 
Burlington— ^E Bichard Boyle, second Earl of Cork, by patent, March 20, 1G04. Extinct 

in 1735. 

* B ■tands for Btfon i V, for Viwoitnt ; i9, for Duke or Duchcu ; Jf, for If arqais ; and E, far Earl. 


Carleton — B John de Bella Aqua, by writ of stiinmons, June 8, tirenly-aeoo&d of Edward 
I., 1294. 

2 B Henry Boyle, by patent, October 20, 1714. Died in 1725, when the tiUe became 

3 B Richard Boyle, second Earl of Shannon, by patent, August 6, 1786. 
dereland — E Thomas Wentworth, fourth Baron Wentworth, by patent, Febmaiy 5, 

1626. Extinct on his death, 1667. 
2 D Barbara Yilliers, mistress of Charles II., by patent, August 3, 1670. Extinct 

Cowiek— B John Christopher Burton Downay, fifth Viscount Downe, by patent, May 28, 

1796. Baron Bownay, in England. 
Craven — E Viscount Craven, of Uffington, Berks., by patent, March 15, 1663. 
Danby — E Henry Danyers, first Lord Danyers, by patent^ February 5, 1626. Extinct 

on his death, 1643. 
2 E Thomas Osborne, first Viscount Latimer, l^ patent^ June 27, 1674. 
Boncaster — V James Hay, first Baron Hay, by patent, July 5, 1618. Extinct 1660. 

2 E James Fitz Boy (assumed the name of Scot), natural son of Charlea n., by 
patent, Februaiy 14, 1663. Beheaded 1685, when the title became forfeited. 

3 E Francis Scot» third Earl of Dalkeith, and heir to the last-mentioned EarL Be- 
stored by Act of Parliament, March 23» 1743. 

Duncombe Park — B Charles Duncombe, by patent, July 14, 1826. Baron Feyersham, 

of Duncombe Park. 
Escrick — B Thomas Knyyet, by writ of summons, July 4, 1607. Extinct at his death. 
2 B Edward Howard, younger son of the Eail of Suffolk, by patent, April 29, 1628w 
Baron Howard, of Escrick. Extinct 1714. 
Qisbume Park— J3 Thomas Lister, hy patent^ October 26, 1797. Baron Bibblesdale, of 

Gisbume Park. 
Halifikx— F Sir George Savile, Bart., by patent, January 13, 1668. E July 16, 1679. 
M August 22, 1682. Extinct 1700. 
2 B Charles Montague, Vy patent, December 4, 1700. E October 14, 1714. Extinct 
HBiewood—B Edwin lAsceUes, by patent^ July 9, 1790. Extinct on his death in 1795. 

2 B Edward I^scelles, by patent, June 18, 1796. E September 7, 1812. 
Holdemess — 2 E Odo, Earl of Champagne. Temp. William I. 

2 E John Bamsay, first Viscount Haddington, by patent, January 22, 1621. Extinot 
on his death, 1625. 

3 E Rupert, Count Palatine, of the Bhine, by patent, January 24, 1644. Extinct on 
his death, 1682. 

4 E Conyers D'Arcy, second Baron IVAroy, by patent, December 5, 1682. Extinet 

Holme-in-Spalding-Moor— B Marmaduke Langdale, by potent, Febmaiy 4, 1658. Ex- 
tinct 1777. 

Kingston-upon-Hull— -£ Bobert Pierrepont, first Viscount Newark, by patent, July 25, 
1628. Extinct 1778. 

Kiyeton— B Sir Thomas Osborne, by patent, August 15, 1673. 

Leeds— D Thomas Osborne, first Marquis of Cannarthen, by patent, May 4, 1694. 


Lanesborongh— rB Richard Boyle, seoond Earl of Cork, by patent, Norember 4, 166i. 

Baron Clifford, of Lanesborough. Extinct 1785. 
Leppington->-J3 Robert Carey, by patent, February 0, 1662. Baron Carey, of Lepping- 

ton. Extinct 1661. 
Long Loftns— J9 Charles Tottenham LoftiiB, first Marquis of Ely, in Ireland, hj patent, 

January 19, 1801. 
Malton— JB Thomas Wentworth, by patent, May 28, 1728. E by patent, November 19, 

1784. Extinct 1782. 
Markenfield—B Fletcher Norton, by patent, April 9, 1782. 
Middleham — B Ribald, brother to Alan, second Earl of Brittany, by tenure. Temp. 

William I. 
Mulgrave— B Constantino John Phipps, second Baron MulgraTO in Ireland, hj patent, 

June 16, 1790. His brother created E by patent, September 7, 1812. 
Normanby — V Henry Phipps, third Baron Mulgrave, by patent, September 7, 1812. 
Northallerton — V George Augustas, Prince Electoral of Hanover, afterwards George n., 

by patent, November 9, 1706. Merged in the Crown on his accession. 
Fontefraot — B Ilbert de Lacy, by tenure. Temp. WiUiam I. 
2 B John Savile, by patent, July 21, 1682. Baron Savile, of Pontefract Extinct 

8 B George Fitz Roy, natural son of Charles n., hy patent, October 1, 1674. Extinct 

on his death, 1716. 
4 E Thomas Fermor, second Baron Lempster, by patent, December 27, 1721. 
Bavensworth — B Bardolph, Baron Htzhugh, by tenure. Temp. William L 
Bawdon — B Honourable Fhuids Rawdon, by patent, March 6, 1788. E by patent, De- 
cember 7, 1816. 
Richmond — E Alan Fergaunt, Earl of Brittany, created by William I. for his services at 

the battle of Hastings. Extinct 1586. 
2 D Ludovick Stuart, second Duke of Lennox, by patent, May 17, 1628. Extinct on 

his death, 1624. 
8 D James Stuart, second Earl of March, hy patent, August 8, 1641. Extinct 1672. 
4 D Charles Lennox, natural son of Charles n., by potent, August 9, 1675. 
Ripon— B James Doug^, second Duke of Queensbniy, in Scotland, hy patent. May 26, 

1708. Extinct 1778. 
Ross — B Peter de Roos, by tenure. Temp. Henry L 
Rotherfleld— £ Robert de Grey, younger son of Henry I., by tenure. 
Sandbeck — V James Saunderson, first Baron Saunderson, by patent, 1716. E 1720. 

Extinet on his decease, 1728. 
Scarborough— £ Richard Lumley, first Viscount Lumley, by potent, ApxH 16, 1690. 
Setrington — B Charles Lennox, natural son of Charles n., by patent, August 9, 1675. 
Sheffield— B John Baker Hohroyd, first Baron Sheffield, by patent, July 29, 1802. 
Stittenham — B Sir John Leveson Gower, fifth Baronet, by patent, March 16, 1708. 

Baron Gower, of Stittenham. 
Skelton — B Robert Bruce, second Earl of Elgin, in Scotland, by patent, March 18, 1664. 

Extinct at his death. 
Tadcaster— F Henry O'Bxyen, Earl of Thomond, in Ireland, by patent, October 19, 

1714. Extinct on his death, in 1741 . 


2 B WiUiarn O'Bryen, by patent, July 3, 1826. 
Towton— B Sir Edward Hawke, by patent, May 20, 1776, Baron Hawke, of Towton. 
Waith— B Thomas Wentworth, by patent, November 19, 1734. Extinct 1782. 
Wakefield — E Bobert Eer, son of John, first Dnke of Roxbuigh, in Scotland, by patent, 

May 24, 1772. Extinct 1804. 
Wentworth Wood House — B Sir Thomas Wentworth, second Baronet by patent, July 

22, 1628. V by patent, December 10, 1628. Extinct 1695. 
Whamdiffe — B James Archibald Stuart Wortley Mackenzie, by patent, July 12, 1826. 
Whorlton — B Thomas Bruce, first Earl of Elgin, in Scotland, by patent, August 1, 1641. 
Wortley— J? Mary, daughter of Edward Wortley Montague, by patent, April 3, 1761. 

Baroness Mount Stuart, of Wortley. 
TanuQ — B Sir Thomas Bellasyse, sdcond Baronet, by patent, May 25, 1627. Baron 

Fauconbei^, of Yarum. Extinct 1815. 

®]^t Cilg ai gnrk. 

The origin of the fine old city of Eboracum, or York — in point of dignity 
the second city in the empire — and the etymology of its name, are equally 
involyed in the obscurity of upwards of twelve centuries. In Nennius' cata- 
logue it is called Caer,* or Kaer Ebratu:, or the City of Ebraucus, and is the 
first of that list of cities. Geoffrey of Monmouth, Bishop of St. Asaph, a 
chronicler of the 12th centuiy, tells us that it was founded by Ebraucus, the 
son of Mempricius, a British King, the third from Brute, in the year of the 
world 2988, about the time when David reigned in Judea, and Gad, Nathan, 
and Asaph prophesied in Israel. It is also affirmed, chiefly on the same au- 
thority, that Ebraucus also built Aclud, supposed by some to be Aldborough, 
and by others Carlisle, as well as Mount Agnea, the capital of Scotiand ; that 
he reigned sixty years, and had twenty wives, by whom he had twenty sons 
and thirty daughters ; and that he died at York, and was buried in a temple 
dedicated to the goddess Diana, which he had erected on the spot where now 
stands the ancient church of St. Helen, in St Helen's Square.f 

Though this story of King Ebraucus, his cities, his children, and his wives, 
has been repeated by several antiquarians, yet the whole account is littie re- 
garded at the present day, and is generally believed to have long since passed 

• Nennius, Abbot of Bangor, wrote a Histoxy of the Britons in aj>. 620, which was 
published by Gale. Caer or Kaer is a British word, signifying seat or city. 

f Gent says that tradition assures us that the llinster was built on the site of this 

2 P 


into the long catalogue of exploded errors, to which the ignorance or the 
credulity of every age makes some addition. According to Humphrey Llwyd, 
the learned Welsh antiquary, York is identified with the city termed hy the 
Britons Ccier-Effroc ; and among the towns of the Brigantes mentioned hy 
Ptolemy with the Ehoracum of the Romans. Another writer coi\jecture8 
that a colony of Gauls, which were driven hy the Romans from Spain and 
Portugal, had seated themselves here in Mid-England, and made their chief 
station at York, to which they gave the name of Ehoracum, from Ehora, a 
town in Portugal, or Ebura, in Andalusia.* The plain fAct appears to have 
been, that the locality where York now stands, was called by the ancient 
Britons Kaer, and that in all probability it was as thickly inhabited as any 
other part of the island. And with respect to its general appearance, we 
suppose that it resembled the other fortresses or stations of the numerous 
tribes that inhabited the country. Caesar tells us in his Comtnentaries, that 
when he came to Britain, the builders knew nothing of building with stone, 
but called that a town which had a thick entangled wood, defended with a 
ditch and bank about it. 

The Romans called this city Ehoracum or Eburacum, but its present ap- 
pellation, York, has given rise to much discussion, and a variety of coi^ecture 
prevails upon the subject. Leland and Camden are of opinion that the river 
Ouse was anciently called UrCf Eure, or Youre (but this point is not clearly 
established), and that the Saxons added the termination wic. According 
to the author of "Restitution of Decayed Intelligence in Antiquities, "f 
the city of York was called Caer-Efroc by the ancient Britons, but its 
appellation was changed by the Saxons to Ever-wyk, from the words ever or 
eber a vnld boar, and wye a place of refuge or retreat. Its present name, he 
says, is obviously derived from Everwic, which by vulgar abbreviation became 
Voric and lastiy York. If it could be proved that the river had formerly 
retained the name of Eure as low as the city, it would appear almost un- 
questionable that the name was derived from Eurewic, a place of retreat or 
strength on the Eure; and the same might in popular pronunciation be 
readily corrupted to that of York. Worsae, the learned author of "The 
Danes and Northmen in Britain," gives the following derivation of the name 
York : — " The Briton called York, Caer Eabhroig or Eabhroic ; the Anglo- 
Saxons, Eoforwic ; and the Danes, Jorvik ; whence it is plain that the form 
York now in use is derived." 

In Domesday Book this city is called, Civitas Eborum, and Eurwk. 

* Sir Thomas Widdriogton's MSS. f Page UO. 


Alcium, a celebrated scholar in his time, and a native of York, writing near 
a thousand years ago, says, that the city was built by the Romans ; and he 
has left his testinony in Latin verse, of which the following is a translation ; 

This city, first, by Roman hand was form'd, 
With lofty towers and high built walls adom'd ; 
It gave their leaders a secure repose, 
fiononr to th' empire, terror to their foes. 

Drake is of opinion that York was founded by the Romans. " It is probable 
to me,'* writes he, " that this city was first planned and fortified by Agricola, 
about A.D. 80, whose conquests in the island stretched beyond York ; and 
that that General built here a fortress to guard the frontiers after his return." 
The early importance of the city must unquestionably be attributed to the 
Romans, who made it the metropolis of their empire in Britain. The builders 
of the city were probably the Roman soldiers themselves, who were accom- 
plished masons, being trained to use the pick-axe, spade, and trowel, as well 
as military arms. They called this city Civitas Brigantium, (the title of 
eivUas applied to Rome itself), as well as Eboracum or Eburacum. 

The resemblance which York bore to the form of ancient Rome is rather 
remarkable. Fabius's plan of Rome represents it in the form of a bow, of 
which the Tiber was the string, as the Ouse may be said to be the bow-string 
of York. Like Rome, Eboracum, although entirely a military colony, seems 
to have been governed both by military and municipal laws, for the Em- 
perors themselves sometimes sat in person in the Prsetorium, and firom this 
chief tribunal gave laws to the whole empire. York, therefore, may be re- 
garded as the picture of Rome in miniature, and as possessing a just claim to 
the tides of '* Brittanici Orbis, Roma Altera, Palatium OurisB, and Preotorium 
Cssaris," with which it is dignified by Alcuin.* 

"From the circumstance of the Ebor, now called the Ouse, running directly 
through the city," says AUen, " York was more capable of augmenting its 
commercial concerns than Isurium, which was situated near the river Ure ; 
and also of fumbhing the Romans, who were peculiarly partial to their hot 
and cold baths, with an ample supply of water. Here then, doubtless, was 
the cause of preference ; and hence it might receive a name indicative of its 
situation ; for although Urica and York are not exactly the same, if we recol- 
lect the Romans were succeeded by the Saxons, the difference may be purely 

When the Emperor Hadrian came into this island in a.d. 124, he took up 

* Alcuin Ap. Leland Coll. 0. f Hist. Yorks., Book iiL, p. 4. 


his station at York. The Emperor Seyenis lived and held his court in the 
Prsetorium Palace of this city for more thmi three years, while his son was 
in the north superintending the completion of the great wall ; and he died 
here on the 5th of Fehruarj, 211. (See page 57.) A rescript of law is still 
preserved in the Roman code, issued hj this Emperor from Eboracum, on 
the drd of the Nones of May, in the Consulate of Fustinus and Rufiis, cor- 
responding to the year 211, relating to the recovery of the "right of possession 
of servants or slaves. 

Drake tells us that at that period this city shone forth with meridian 
splendour; and that the concourse of tributary Kings, of foreign ambassa- 
dors, and Roman nobles, which crowded the courts of the Sovereigns of the 
world when the Roman empire was in its prime, elevated Eboracum to the 
height of sublunary grandeur. 

There was a temple dedicated to Bellona, the goddess. of war, erected at 
York before the time of Severus ; and after that monarch returned from his 
northern conquest, and sought a temple to sacrifice to the Gods who had 
crowned him with success, he was led by an ignorant soothsayer to it, and 
this was looked upon as a presage to his death. This temple is supposed 
to have stood without Bootham Bar, near the ruins of St. Mary's Abb^. 
Before the temple stood a small column, called the martial pillar, whence 
a spear was thrown when war was declared against an enemy. It may 
here be observed that temples dedicated to Bellona, who was the sister of 
Mars, were not allowed to be erected, except in Rome or in the principal 
cities of the Empire. 

In the next century Carausius caused himself to be proclaimed Emperor 
at York. Constantius or Constantine Chlorus, another Roman Emperor, 
held his court for some time in the imperial palace at York, and died 
there in July, a.d. 306. His son and successor, Constantine the Great, 
has been erroneously believed by many writers to have been bom at York. 
The precise place of the birth of Constantine is described by an ancient 
writer to be '*Patema in Eboracensi civitate." Hence probably the tra- 
dition that the first Christian Emperor was a native of this city. However 
that may have been, it is quite certain that he received the commands 
of his dying father at York, and that immediately after the death of Con- 
stantius, he was proclaimed Emperor by the army, and his inauguration 
took place there. (See page 60.) This ancient residence of the " Lords of 
the Universe" began to decline after the departure of Constantine, and 
in the reign of Theodosius the Younger, Rome and York both declined 


BoMAK Remains. — ^Of the splendour of the city daring its occupation hy 
the Bomans, many yestiges have been discovered, and various remains of 
Boman architecture have been found ; though, considering the long residence 
of that people here, these antiquities are less numerous than might have been 
supposed, if we did not, as Baines says, " take into consideration that fire, 
sword, ignorance, and superstition, have all contributed their assistance to 
the devouring hand of time, to erase the monuments which the imperial 
power had served to erect." " It may seem strange," continues the same 
writer, in his Gazetteer of Yorkshire, published in 1823, ** that we have not 
to show any temples, amphitheatres, or palaces, whose edifices must once 
have made Eboracum shine with distinguished lustre ; but the wonder will 
cease when in the following pages we trace such horrid destruction of every- 
thing both sacred and profane. To our Christian ancestors we owe much of 
this destruction ; their holy zeal rendered them anxious to eradicate every 
vestige of paganism; and the Boman altars and votive monuments were 
naturally enough consigned to destruction under their Gothic hands." 

Mr. Drake, in the appendix to his Eboracum, gives a catalogue of the coins, 
as well as many other Boman antiquities, found in York. Dr. Langwith 
sent Drake a catalogue of Boman coins from Augustus down to Gratianus, 
124 different sorts, all found in York. They fure chiefly of the Lower Em- 
pire; and amongst them Geta^s are the most common of any. A great 
quantify of signets, fibula, urns, and sarcophagi have been dug up and re- 
covered here through a period of fifteen centuries. Camden, Burton, Drake, 
Thoresby, and other antiquaries, have described some of the most remarkable 
of them. 

Almost all the memorials of the Bomans, which have presented themselves 
in this city, have been found by digging ; few of them have been discovered 
above ground ; so that it may be justly said that modem York stands upon 
ancient Eboracum. 

A part of a tower and wall are yet standing in York, which are undoubt- 
edly of Boman erection. This building is now known as the Multangular 
Tower, and the wall which leads from it towards Bootham Bar. This tower 
and wall will be fully described at a subsequent page of this volume. 

When digging in the north aisle of the church of St Cuthbert, and also 
on the north side of the churchyard, there have often been found Boman tiles 
and several fragments of sepulchral antiquities. In some parts have also 
been discovered, at the depth of five feet, quantities of ashes and charcoal, 
intermixed with human bones and broken urns, paterae, &c. On the sepul- 
chral tiles, which have been dug up here, was stamped Leo IX. Hisp. The 


foundations of a very strong wall Irave likewise been traced in this churchyard, 
in the direction from S.S.E. to N.N.W. This wall appears to be remains of 
a Eoman or some very ancient building. 

Nearly two centuries ago a theca or repository for urns of a Roman family 
was dug up here, but it was so little regarded at York, that in time it found 
its way to Hull, where it served as a trough for watering horses at a public 
inn ! The inscription was partly obliterated, but it amounted to this — ^That 
Marcus Verecundus Diogenes, a native of Berri, in Grascoigny, and a sevir 
or magistrate of the Roman colony at York, died there ; who, while living, 
made this monument for himself. The size of the sepulchral monument was 
yery large, being six feet long and three feet deep, and the stone was of a mill- 
stone grit In digging the foundation of a house on Bishop-hill the Elder, in 
1688, a small but elegant altar, with figures in basso relievo of sacrificing 
instruments, &c., on the side, was found, which was presented to Charles I., 
when at York, by Sir Ferdinando Fairfiax. The altar bears a heathen in- 
scription, which may be thus translated. — " To the great and mighty Jupiter, 
and to all gods and goddesses, household and peculiar, PubUm AeUus Mar- 
cianusy prefect of cohurt, for the preservation of his own health and that of 
his family, dedicated this altar to the great preserver." The King ordered 
this interesting relic to be conveyed to the Manor House, where it remained 
some time; but Sur Thomas Widdrington, who resided at Lendal, after- 
wards had it in his possession; and it was lastiy seen at the house of 
Lord Thomas Fairfax, in York, where it remained till the desertion of the 
house by hi^ son-in-law, the Duke of Buckingham, since which time no 
trace of it can be discovered. This is the earliest recorded discovery of a 
Roman altar at York. 

In 1688 a very curious sepulchral monument was dug up in Trinity- 
Gardens, near Micklegate. The stone, which is almost six feet high and two 
feet broad and angular in form at the top, has carved upon it the figure of a 
Roman Signifer or Standard-bearer, standing in an arched recess, having in 
his right hand the Signum or Standard of a cohort, and in his left, probably, 
the vessel used in measuring the com, which was a part of Roman soldiers* 
pay. Near the bottom is the following inscription :-^ 








which Horsley reads thus: Lucius Duccius Lucii Voltima (Tribu) fiilius 
Ruffinus Viennensis signifer Legionis nonee annonim viginti octo, hie situs 
est. i. e. Lucius Diiccius Ruffinus, son of Lucius, of the Voltinian tribe, of 
Vienna, standard-bearer of the Ninth Legion, aged twenty-eight, is placed 
(buried) here. 

This remarkable relic was saved by Bryan Fairfax, Esq., from demolition 
by the workmen who had broken it in the middle, and were about to make 
use of it in a stone-wall which they were erecting. It was afterwards re- 
moved to Ribstone Hall, near Wetherby, by Sir Henry Goodrick, who first 
placed it in his own garden, and subsequently removed it to a more appro- 
priate situation in the chapel yard. It is now in the Museum of the York- 
shire Philosophical Society, having been presented by J. Dent, Esq., of 

We are told by Mr. Drake that on the removal of a house in Friars* Gar> 
dens, near Toft Green, in the month of August, 1770, part of the foundation 
of a temple of Roman brick-work was found about two feet beneath the 
snr&ce of the earth. It was so firmly cemented by the mortar peculiar to 
Roman edifices, as to resist the stroke of a pick-axe, and its form was semi- 
circular ; the other part being, as he supposed, under an adjoining dwelling. 
Upon or near to this foundation was discovered a dedicatory tablet of grit 
stone, three feet long, two feet one inch broad, and seven inches thick, bearing 
the following inscription, and some curious emblematic carved work in very 
fine preservation : — 








This inscription denotes that " Claudius Hieronymianus, Legate or Lieu- 
tenant of the Sixth Legion Victorious, had erected from the foundations a 
temple to the Holy God Serapis.'i' There is no doubt that this tablet had 
been fixed in the front of that temple, and it was long supposed that the 

• Serapis was a great Egyptian deity, known by the three names of Osiris, Apis, and 
Serapis. Memphis, Alexandria, Canopns, and Athens, had each a m agnificent temple 
dedicated to this idol, and his worship was introduced also at Bome, 1^ the Emperor 
Antoninus Pins, aj). 146.; thence no doubt it had been brought into this oountiy by 


temple itself stood on the spot where the foundations and the tahlet were 
found — ^namelj, the end of Tanner-row, near the spot now occupied hj the 
entrance to the North Eastern Railway Station. Nothing more was dis- 
covered to further develope the site of the Temple of Serapis till the year 
1887, when the excavations were commenced for the York and North Mid- 
land Railway (now called the North Eastern) Station. At the h^inning 
of these excavations Mr. Hargrove, the author of the History of York, feeling 
anxious to watch and keep an account of every discovery of the remains of 
other times, attended near the workmen early and late, and after having 
secured many valuable Roman relics, had the satisfaction to find and pre- 
serve a beautiful tesselated pavement, in the centre of which was the repre- 
sentation of a singular figure, the fore part of which pourtrayed the bead, 
body, and forelegs of an ox, the hind part representing the twisted tail of a 
large fish."^ This interesting discovery at once removed every doubt respecting 
the temple of Serapis. The blending of the worship of two gods in one 
temple was no uncommon occurrence amongst the idolatrous nations, and 
here was evidently a blending of two heathen deities — Serapis, the God of 
Agriculture, and Neptune, the God of the Sea — the inference being exhibited 
in the position of each representation. 

The remains of foundations of an oblong room, in which this pavement 
was found, were evident; the breadth of which was twelve feet, but the length 
could not be so clearly ascertained. At the north end was a large raised 
stone, forming a sort of table or altar, which was preserved. A passage at 
the south-west side of the room evidently led to the public baths behind. 
In an account of similar temples at Thebes, and other places, it is stated that 
there is always observable a small oblong room, which was the adytum or 
sanctuary, i. e., the apartment which contained the figure of the deity, and 
in which the priests performed those sacrifices and other rites, which were 
not meant for the public gaze. Its dimensions were very insignificant, but 
it was always surrounded by stupendous erections of various kinds, col- 
onnades, courts, &c., with apartments for the abode of the priests. 

The room and pavement of the temple of Serapis were found opposite 

the Bomans, and thus had occasioned the erection of a temple sacred to it in the then 
splendid city of Eboracnm. Mr. Pegge refers the inscription on this tablet to the time 
of Hadrian or earlier; and adds that several coins of Nerva, Trajan, and Hadrian, were 
found along with it This cnrions memorial of Boman idolatiy, is now in the Yorkshire 

« A plate of this curious pavement, from a drawing by Mr. Wm. Wallace Hatgrove, 
has been published. 


to Barker Lane, which is some distance up the street of Tanner Row, and 
nearly opposite to Trinity Church ; and the remains of Roman foundations 
which Mr. Hargroye afterwards discoyered and measured, as well as sub- 
sequent discoyeries nearer to Micklegate Bar, proye beyond a doubt that the 
temple had been yery eztensiye ; occupying the higher part of the ground 
where Tanner Row had been built in subsequent times, and ranging with its 
outbuildings from the bar to the place where the payement aboye-described 
was found. It is possible that the fragment found in 1770 may haye been a 
part of the temple of Serapis, but it was a yery tnjQing portion comparatiyely 

In 1814 a Roman tesselated payement was found close to the rampart 
near Micklegate Bar, and another elegant floor of this beautiful Mosaic work 
was found in 1853, towards the upper part of Tanner Row.* Mr. Hargroye 
thinks it highly probable that these payements had been connected with the 
temple or its appendages, for the remains of the public baths which were 
afterwards found were between the temple and the Bar waUs.-|- 

In escayating for a cellar in Ousegate, not far from what Mr. Wellbeloyed 
Sttj^poaes to be the south-east angle of the wall of ancient Eboracum, a frag« 
ment of a dedicatory Roman tablet was found, and is now in the Museum. 
The edifice to which it was affixed appears to haye been dedicated to the 
deities of Augustus, and to a goddess whose name or title is lost. Of the 
name of the person who erected the temple, the termination SIVS only 

NyMIMIB AyO ET ]>£▲£ loy... 

At the same time, and in the same place, was discoyered a fragment of a 
tablet, which recorded the restoration of a temple, dedicated to Hercules, 
probably by one Titus Perpetuus. The remains of the inscription 

HERCyXi* • • . 




In the year 1716 a curious antique busty fiye inches high by four in 

• These two payemeiits will be deaeribed at a sabgequent page. 

f The paEfement reaeaed 1^ Mr. Hargrove-^and to whose kindneaa we are indebted 
for the fongoiiig deeeiiptaon of it— 4ogether with the other aatiqae remains with whieh 
his labour and attention to the aboye-mentioned exeayationa have been repaid ; as well 

d Q 


breadth, representing the head of a beautiful female, was found in digging a 
cellar near the ruins of St. Mary's Abbey. Gale, the antiquary, finding it 
bore the marks of Roman origin, and knowing that the Bomans had not any 
goddess in their system of theology, supposed it had been designed to represent 
the head of Lucretia, the Roman matron, whose wrongs expelled the Tarquins. 

In Clifton fields, without Bootham Bar, several sarcopha§^, or stone tombs, 
and a great quantity of urns of different colours and sizes, have been found. 
Amongst them were two coffins, dug up in March, 1813, each containing a 
skeleton entire, with the teeth — ^the most imperishable part of man when 
dead, and the most liable to decay when living — completely perfect. Theee 
two last^mentioned tombs or coffins, which are unusually large, measuring 
seven feet four inches in length, two feet three inches in breadth, and one foot 
ten inches in depth, and of thick light-coloured grit, are now in the north 
aisle of the choir of the Cathedral. Each coffin is covered with a lid, curi- 
ously made in the form of the roof of a modem dwelling house.'^ The field 
in which they were discovered is nearly opposite to Burton Stone, at Clifton, 
in which neighbourhood the principal burial-place of the Romans, who for- 
merly inhabited this cit^, was situated. Campus Martus, anciently, mthout 
the cit^ of Rome, was the place where the funersl piles were lighted to con- 
sume the deceased Romans, and the presumption is that Clifton fields formed 
the Campus Martus of Eboracum. In Drake's Antiquities, Bootham Bar is 
mentioned as being the gate which led to some grand depository of their dead 
near CHfton village. 

The various sepulchral remains have principally been found near Mickle- 
gate and Bootham Bars, in the neighbourhood of which respectively ran the 

as a large oollection of other objects of interest which he had during twenty preceding 
years collected in York, have been transferred to the Musenm of the Yorkshire Philo- 
sophical Society, of which he is a member. A minute description of his whole oolleotion 
by himself would be interesting. 

• Sepulchral chests made of stone are much more rare in Boman bnrial-plaoes tliflii 
those £6rmed of tiles. They are generally veiy massive, formed out of a soUd stone, and 
covered with a roof-shaped or flat lid. Massive chests or sarcophagi of this description 
appear, ttom their forms and inscriptions, to have stood above ground, and they present 
a very peculiar mode of sepulture. After the body had been laid, apparently in ftill 
dress, on its back at the bottom of the sarcophagus, liquid lime was poured in until the 
whole of the body was covered, except the face. This becoming hard has preserved to 
a certain degree an impression of the form of the body, of which the skeleton is often 
found entire. Several fine examples of this mode of sepulture may be seen in the 
grounds and Museum of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society. It is remarkable that the 
Boman tombs with interments of this description found at York, generally contained the 
remains of ladies. 


old Roman roads to Calcarea (Tadcaster) and Isurinm (Aldborough). " These 
were probably therefore the principal cemeteries of Eboracum," writes the 
editor of York and its Vi4dnity, ** the Romans •invariably choosing the way- 
side of the principal thoroughfares^ beyond the walls of their cities, for the 
burial of their dead." 

About the year 1784 a small figure of a penats, or household god (Saturn), 
was found by a person digging for a cellar in Walmgate ; the composition of 
which the image is formed is a mixture of metal, and the workmanship ex- 
hibits all the elegance of a Roman mould. 

About the year 1740 two very curious Roman urns were dug up near the 
Mount without Micklegate Bar. One of them was made of glass, and being 
by accident broken in pieces, the inside of it was found to be coated with a 
silver-coloured substance, termed by philosophers, the eleetmm of the ancients. 
The other urn was of lead, and was sold by the workmen to an ignorant 
plumber, who immediately beat it together and melted it down. A pedestal 
of grit was also found in the same year, at no great distance from Micklegate 
Bar. It measured two feet high by ten inches in breadth, and bore the fol- 
lowing Roman inscription : — 




AUOO. N. N. 


A Roman sepulchre of singular form was found in 1768, by some labourers 
who were preparing a piece of ground for a garden, near the dty walls, west 
of the same bar. It was formed of Roman tiles, built up in the form of a 
roof, and making a triangle with the ground below. On the top was a 
covering of semiciroular tiles, of small diameter, so close as to prevent the 
least particle of earth from falling into the cavily, and each end of the 
dormitory was closed with a tile, on which was inscribed Leo. IX. His., being 
doubtless the burying-place of a soldier of the Legio nana Hupanica. 

A sculptured tablet, representing the sacrifice and mysteries of Mithras, 
was found in 1747, in digging for a cellar in a house in Micklegate, opposite 
St Martin's Ghureh. Mithras is the Greek form of the Persian word signi- 
fying the Sun, the chief object of worship among the Persians and otiier 
ancient eastern nations. This relio of idolatry is now in the entrance hall 
of the Museum. 


In 1770, as some workmen were digging a drain finom the north east comer 
of Davygate, to the comer of Lendal, they discovered the foundation of three 
walls or buttresses, about Bexen feet below the surface of the ground. They 
were from nine feet and a half to eleven feet and a half broad, about three 
feet distant from each other, and were composed of pebbles strongly cemented, 
the open space between the walls being securely filled with day. Gough 
says, they were supposed to have been built by the Romans, to prevent the 
Ouse from overflowing the city. 

In the same year were found in a gravel pit on the banks of the Ouse, about 
one mile and a half east of the city, a number of ancient remains, consisting 
of fragments of Roman earthenware and patere (goblets), and within the com- 
pass of about Mtj yards were likewise discovered a perfect urn with its cover, 
and many more pieces of patersB and urns, some very laige vessels, part of an 
urn of crystal, an iron flesh fork, &c. At the same time and place a strange 
discovery was made, of which Mr. Gough gives us the particulars. A stiatum 
of oyster shells appeared to have been laid about two feet, in s<mie parts 
three feet, and in others nearly Ave feet, bdow the sur&ce, and above them 
was a sort of rich black earth, like soot mixed with oil, among which were 
found pieces of burnt wood. Upon this singular substance were scattered 
great numbers of bones of cattle, chiefly heads and ribs. Many heads of 
beasts were laid together in one part ; and in several other parts were bones 
mixed with earth and fragments of earthen vessels. Near to these, about 
three feet below the present surface, the earth was discoloured and greasy, 
as though it had been soaked with blood to the depth of two feet. In the 
following year, 1771, a similar discovery was made in another gravel pit not 
far from the former, and the particulars of which are also given by Mr. 
Gough. " Within this pit, between layers of earth and gravel," writes he, 
" was another of black earth intermixed with bumt wood, and imder it a 
layer of oyster shells. In the middle of the pit was a hillock of the same 
strata, mixed with fragments of urns, some inscribed Ofrom, Caiva^ &o. 
Some of the larger ones and of the patens were adorned with vine and ivy 
branches, &c" In this pit were also found a number of antique remains, 
amongst which were a flesh fork, a brass needle, various fragments of urns, 
a large iron bolt, a whole patera with ears, some others broken, and a small 
urn of coarse red clay with a cover of blueish clay. These remains favour 
the opinion that a Roman temple had stood in that locality, and that these 
were the remains of the saciifloes oflered in the dark ages of pagan idolatry. 

Drake mentions a Roman tablet which was discovered in digging a oellar 


in " Oonyng Street," in the line of the Roman wall. It is now in tiie 
Museum, and is inscribed: — 



that is, ''To the Genius of the place, happQj/' or " prosperoualj.** The 
QeniuB was the protecting spirit of a person or a place. The pkce in this 
instance was most probaUj that occupied by Eboracum ; and the inscription 
is a short wish or prayer that the genius would be propitious to Eboracum. 
Mr. Thoresby, the Leeds antiquary, was living when this monument was 
found, and in an account of it which he sent to the Boyal Sodiely he says — 
after describing it and its inscription, " If the name (of the genius) had been 
added, it would have gratified the curiosity of some of our necteric antiquaries. 
But they must yet acquiesce, for aught I know, in their old Dvi, who b said 
to be the tutelar deity of the city of the Brigantes. The author of this 
TOtive monument," he continues, " seems to have had the same superstitious 
veneration for the gemm of York, as those at Home had for theirs, whose 
name they were prohibited to mention or enquire after. Hence it is that 
upon their coins the name of this deity is never expressed but in a mere 
popular manner, by (hnius PJl,, or Pop. Bom" 

A massive brass flagon was also turned up by the plough, in a field near 
York, weighing seventeen pounds four and a half ounces, and calculated to 
contain five modem pints. This vessel stood on three legs, and the top of 
the lid exhibited a head or face, apparently connected with the heathen 

A small Roman votive altar of stone, six inches high, and six inches in 
breadtii at the base, bearing a Roman inscription, somewhat impaired by 
time, but from which it appears that this relic was dedicated by a soldier of 
the Sixth Legion to the mother of the Emperor Antonius Pius, vras found in 
Micklegate by the workmen, while digging a drain in the middle of the street. 
Several other Roman remains were discovered with this altar, about eight or 
ten feet below the surface ; and the workmen met with two or three firm pave- 
ments of pebbles, one below another, beneath which were several fragments 
of beautiful red glazed patereB, adorned with figures of gods, birds, and vines, 
and one of them inscribed ianvf; there were also several small altars and an 
earthen lamp, with some Roman coins of Constantine the Great. 

The following remains have been found in the present century, and for 
ages yet to come the inexhaustible mines of antiquarian wealth on which the 


cily of York stands, will doubtless yield their contributions to the cabinets of 
the curious. In June, 1802, the workmen, while digging for the foundations 
of the new gaol, near the site of the Old Baile Hill, found about 100 silver 
pennies of William the Devastator, in good preservation, though it is probable 
that they had lain in the ground nearly eight centuries. According to LeLind, 
a Castle anciently stood on this site. The most venerable sepulchral remains 
which have been presented to the antiquaiy for many years, were discovered 
in September, 1804, by the workmen while digging a large drain in the Min- 
ster Yard, from south to west of the Cathedral. After passing through a 
stratum of human bones, under which were two coffins, hollowed out of the 
solid stone, the workmen came to eleven or twelve coffins, each formed of 
stone (apparently from the quarries of Malton), loosely placed together, with- 
out cement or fastening. Each of these coffins was covered with a rough 
flag, four inches thick, under which skeletons were found laid on the bare 
earth, the coffins being without bottoms. The situation being wet, some of 
the coffins contained a quantity of clear water, through which the skeletons 
appeared entire, but when the water was removed, and the bodies were ex- 
posed to the air, they crumbled into dust. The singular form of these 
coffins ; the rough manner in which they were constructed; and their depth 
in the earth, prove their great antiquity, and confirm the belief that they are 
vestiges not merely of Roman or Saxon times, but that they contain remains 
of our aboriginal ancestors. 

On Monday, the 17th of August, 1807, while the workmen were preparing 
the foundation for a building near the Mount, in the suburbs of York, a 
Roman sepulchral vault or chamber was discovered about four feet from the 
surface, which was eight feet long, by five feet wide, and six feet high, built 
of stone, and arched over with Roman brick. A coffiin of rag-stone grit, 
about seven feet long, occupies nearly the whole of the vault, and in the 
coffin is a human skeleton entire, with the teeth complete, supposed to be 
the remains of a Roman lady, consigned to the mansion of the dead from 
fourteen to seventeen centuries ago. Near the scull, which is remarkably 
small, was found a small phial or lachrimatory, in which vessels the ancients 
deposited the tears they shed for their departed friends. The workmen also 
found at the same time, not far from the vault, a large red coloured urn in 
which were ashes, and the partially burnt bones of a human body. This 
ancient sepulchre, together with the skeleton, is still preserved in its original 
state, for the inspection of the curious, and the house which contains it is 
now in the occupation of Mr. Geoige Flower. 


About the beginning of the present oentoiy sereral Roman fragmentary 
remains were found at the Mount, near York ; amongst them was part of a 
coffin bearing the following incription :^-- 


We learn from this inscription, though it contains some difficulties to an 
inteipreter, that it was designed to preserre the memory of Theodonanus, of 
Nomentum (probably), who lived thirty-four years and six months, by his 
mother Theodora. Also a fragment of a monumental tablet, containing the 
following portion of the original inscription ; — 





A gratefiil tribute, it is probable, paid to a patron by some person who had 
recelYed fix>m him their freedom. 

In 1818 two stone coffins, seven feet in length, three feet wide, and six 
inches thick, were dug up in a gravel pit near Fulford Church, in each of 
which was a human skeleton, and a small quantity of a white substance re- 
sembling lime saturated with grease. These coffins are each cut out of a 
solid block of stone. 

In excavating for the York and North Midland Railway, near the bridge 
in Holdgate Lane, a Roman altar was found. It has no inscription, but as 
it bears the figures of three females, it is supposed to have been dedicated to 
the Deed Matres, or Matrons, female deities, three in number, supposed to 
have been introduced into Britain by the German auxiliaries. These three 
figures are represented on the front of the altar, sitting in a recess ; on the 
right side of the altar is a single male figure, and on the left two male figures. 
These are thought to have been designed to represent the Emperor Septimus 
Severus, and his sons Caracalla and Geta. The fourth side, which is much 
defaced, seems to have been the representation of an altar, and an animal 
standing before it This antique relic of pagan Eboracum is now deposited 
in the Museum. In the excavations at the same place a coffin was found, 
bearing the following inscription : — 







" To the Gods, the Manes.'t' To Simplicia Florentiiia, a most innocent beingi 
Felicius Simplex, her father, of the Sixth Legion Victorious, dedicated this." 
No mother^i^li^ appears, says Mr. WeUbdoved, " a circumstance which 
suggests the probaoSyy of the birth of this darling child having been marked 
by a lamentable evenithat gives still greater interest to this tribute of pater- 
nal afifection." This^tar, together with the whole of the following antiqui- 
ties, forms part of toe valuable collection in the Museum at York. In the 
excavation for the same railway, part of a sepulchral monument was turned 
up. The letter M alone, denoting *' Manibus,** remains. 

An altar was recently discovered in the rubble foundation under one of the 
pillars of the church of St. Dennis, Walmgate, York, inscribed : — 





OBD V* 8* LM. 

Which may be read thus, DEO Arciacon et Numini Augusti Simatius Vitalis 
Ordovix Votum solvit libens merito, i. e. " To the God Arciacon and to the 
Divinity of Augustus, Simatius Vitalis, one of the Ordovices, discharges his 
vow willingly, deservedly," — ^namely, by dedicating this altar. There is 
nothing in the inscription to indicate its date. 

An altar was found in the Roman baths, discovered in excavating the site 
of the Railway Station. The inscription is — 






LEO* Ava* 

^ The word Mane$ denotes the souls of the departed, " but as it is a natural tendenoy 
to consider the souls of departed friends as blessed spirits, they ware called by the Bo- 
mans Dii Bianes, and were worshipped with divine honours**^ 


Rendered thus — " To the Goddess Fortune, hj Socia Juncina, the daughter 
of Quintus Antonius Isauricus, of the Legion Augusta." This altar must 
have been erected here during the first half of the second century of the 
Christian era, as the Legion Augusta, which came into Britain with Claudius, 
took up its head-quarters at Caerlon, in South Wales, after it had been in 
the north with Hadrian and Antoninus Pius. 

Li 1886 two coffins were found in the Castle yard, York, one of which 
bears this inscription : — 






" To the Gods, the Manes. To the memory of Aurelius Superus, a Cen- 
turion of the Sixth Legion, who lived xxxviii years, iv months, xiii days, 
Aurelia Censoria his wife set up this." 

Li 1810 several fragmentary remains of the Roman period were foimd 
below one of the piers at the south end of the old bridge over the Ouse, in 
York. A very singular and remarkable Roman tomb was discovered in 1848, 
not far from the entrance through the city wall to the Railway Station. It 
was composed of ten large slabs of grit stone, and contained the remains of a 
body, which had been placed in a coffin of wood, and covered with lime. The 
coffin had almost entirely perished, but the lime remained, exhibiting a cast 
of the body, over which it had been poured. This cast is deposited in the 
Museum, and the tomb is in the ruins of the chapel of St Leonardos 

Li 1888 a tomb was discovered near Dringhouses, on the road to Tad- 
caster, formed of roof tiles and ridge tiles, which bear the impress of the 
Sixth Legion ; erected, it is probable, over the ashes of a soldier of that Le- 
gion. It contained nothing but a layer of the remains of a funeral pile, 
consisting of charcoal and bones, with several iron nails. A tomb of the 
same kind, but of smaller dimensions, was found not fax from the city walls, 
near the entrance to the Railway Station. It was probably the tomb of a 
soldier of the Ninth Legion, the tiles being stamped Leo IX. 

In 1881 a Roman tomb or coffin was discovered in Heslington field, about 
a mile from York. It contained some few remains of the body of a female, 
which had been covered with lime in a liquid state. This lime, which ex- 

2 R 


liibits a cast of the bodj, together with some trinkets imbedded in it, may be 
seen in the Museum.' The coffin is deposited in the Multangular Tower. 

A plain altar was found in a garden in Lord Mayor's Walk, some years 
Ago ; and another small plain altar was discovered in 1851, by a person digging 
for sand, in a lane on the south side of Dunnington Common, near York. 

Amongst the many relics of the Roman period which were discovered 
during the excavations for the Railway, are the remains of Roman baths, 
which presented themselves whilst clearing the site of the Station. There 
is a curious model of these remains in the Museum. In 1841 the relics of 
a human body, which had been deposited in lime in a liquid state, was found 
in a stone coffin near the entrance through the rampart to the Railway Sta- 
tion. The remains of another bodv of the leaden coffin, in which it had been 
buried, were also found near the terminus of the Railway. Three smaller 
coffins of lead, containing the bones of children, and the whole were de- 
posited in the )Iuseum. In 1849 some burnt wheat was found in Jubbergate 
at the depth of sixteen feet below the surface, on the site, it is supposed, of a 
Roman granary which had been destroyed by fire. 

In July, 1851, a Roman coffin was found about three feet below the sur- 
face, near Skeldergate Postern, by the side of the road leading to Bishop- 
thorpe. It contained a cast of the bodies of a female and a child, now 
deposited in the Museum. The body of the child appears to have been 
placed, as the impression of the lime represents it, between the legs of the 
woman, who was probably its mother. The garments in which they were 
buried appear to have been ornamented with crimson or purple stripes, of a 
texture something like velvet or plush ; portions of the coloured fibre being 
found adhering to the lime. On the site of the office of the Yorkshire In- 
surance Company, amongst the foundations of buildings, was found, some 
years ago, part of a drain, which is interesting as a specimen of Roman 
sewerage ; and as being illustrative of the Roman method of constructing 
walls of alternate courses of brick and stone. 

At Aldborough, the site of the ancient Isurium, numerous specimens of 
tesselated pavements have often been found, but it was not tiU the year 1814 
that any remains of this kind were discovered in York.* In the month of 

* At Aldborongh, about half a mile east of Boronghbridge, the site of the Boman city 
of l9uriumt tesselated pavements, some of them extensiYe and of the most heantifiil 
description, have been discovered, especially in the years 1832, 1846, and 1848. Many 
other interesting remains of the ancient Isurium, including a hypocaust, the supposed 
foundations of the basilica, the sites of baths and other public buildings, have been re- 
cently laid bare, and many of the tesselated floors and other antiquities discovered here. 


April in that year a beautiful specimen of this Mosaic work was laid bare, 
adjoining the rampart, in Bar Lane, near Micklegate Bar. It appeared to 
have been four yards square, and for some years it was enclosed and pre- 
served on the spot upon which it was discovei'ed, and exhibited to the curious. 
This being the first Roman tesselated pavement found in this ancient Roman 
city, a beautiful coloured engraving of it was published by Mr. Fowler, of 
Winterton, and well it was that he did so, for the Corporation (having pur- 
chased the property upon which it stood) presented it to the Yorkshire Philo- 
sophical Society, and it was broken into fragments in its removal to the 
Museum, and but very little of it was preserved. The spot upon which it 
was laid is now the soil pit of the Jolly Bacchus public house. Mr. Har- 
grove, as we have already observed, thinks that this and the next pavement 
to be noticed had been connected with the great Roman Temple of Serapis. 

In Toft Green, not far from the site of the last-mentioned ancient flooring, 
another beautiful Roman tesselated pavement was discovered, fourteen feet 
below the present surface, in 1853. It is nearly perfect, and measures four- 
teen feet three inches square. When perfect, the pattern was chiefly com- 
posed of the common labyrinthine fret, and five heads ; one in the centre 
, representing Medusa, and four in the comers personifying the four seasons 
of the year — Spring, with its feathered songster ; Summer, with its flowers 
and fruit ; Autumn, with its hay rake ; and Winter, with its dry and leafless 
branch. Immediately beneath it were found an empty urn, covered with a 
square tile ; a coin, first brass of Hadrian, and a third-brass coin of Claudius 
Gothicus, with the legend DIVO. CLAVDIO on the obverse ; proving that 
this pavement was not laid down before a. d. 270, the year in which Claudius 
died. About twelve or fourteen inches below this pavement, a floor, com- 
posed of cement, was found, on which were scattered many tessellsB, finished 
and unfinished, and a piece of iron, conjectured ta be a tool used in shaping 

are preserved on the spot. The vails too of this onoe splendid Roman city have been 
recently traced, and as defined by them, the city formed an oblong rectangular parallel- 
ogram, of which the longest sides were upwards of 2,100 feet in length, and the shortest 
somewhat more than 1,300 feet, making a circuit of rather more than one mile and a 
half, and enclosing an area of 60 acres. The thickness of the wall varies fW)m ten to 
sixteen feet ; it appears to have been faced with carefiilly squared stones, without tho 
usual bondings of brick, at least no traces of them have been found. Outside the walls 
sepulchral urns, graves, deposits of burnt bones, and places which seemed to have been 
used for the purpose of cremation, have been discovered at different times. The most 
remarkable sepulchral remains have been found at a spot without the walls, on the 
south side, known by the name of Bed Hills. 


So partial were the Romans to tesselated pavements, that it was customaiy 
with them, when on a march, to be accompanied with a man, who was styled 
tesserarvus, or chequerman, from carrying a sack with tessersB, or chequered 
dies of coloured stones, with which he paved or inlaid the platform where 
the commanding officer thought fit to pitch his tent. 

Near the line of the York and Newcastle Railway, on the site of the house 
erected for the residence of the secretary, was found, in the year 1840, up- 
wards of 200 Roman silver coins, which, with the vessel in which they were 
deposited, are now in the Yorkshire Museum. Five of them are of the Con- 
sular or Family series, much worn, and illegible ; eighteen are denarii of some 
of the early Emperors ; the rest range from Septimius Severus to M. Jul. 
Philippus. Many belonging to the later Emperors appear to have been cast 
in moulds, and not to have been in circulation. 

In the month of September, 1854, the workmen employed in sinking a 
shaft for constructing a deep drain in Church Street, cut through what was 
considered to be a Roman Wall, and in the centre discovered a leaden pipe 
six feet long, about four inches and a half diameter inside, made of very thick 
lead, in a peculiar manner, with a socket on the outside to join to the pipe. 
A few days afterwards whilst excavating for a branch drain in the same street, 
the workmen laid bare the remainder of the supposed Roman Wall, when it 
was found to be a mass of concrete, about four feet thick, extending round 
the leaden pipe, in aU probability to keep the pipe from settling unevenly 
and to protect it from injury. About nine feet more of the lead piping was 
obtained. It has no doubt been used to convey water. Near it some Roman 
draining tiles were also found, which were very probably to take away the 
waste water from some bath. The pipe and tiles, together with the above- 
mentioned specimen of Roman drainage, may be seen at tiie Museum. 

In a few days after the discovery of this leaden pipe, the workmen em- 
ployed in digging a large and deep drain from Monk Bar to the river Ouse, 
discovered, at the junction of Goodramgate and Petergate, at the depth of 
twenty-three feet below the surface, a slab of grey limestone, measuring 
in its present state three feet nine inches square, bearing the following 
inscription : — 

PER-LEG • Vnn . HI 


The Rev. C. Wellbdoved, in a communicatioii to the Yorkshire Philoso- 
phical Society, pronounced the inscription, when perfect, to have heen — 

PER • LEG • Villi • HISP 

and he translates it thus: — "The Emperor Offisar, son of Nerva, Nerva 
Trajanus Augustus Germanicus, High Priest, invested for the sixth time 
with the Trihunitian power, saluted for the sixth time Imperator, erected 
(this building) by the Ninth Legion, called Hispanica (Spanish)." "The 
investment of Trajan with these honours," he adds, " synchronizes with a.d. 
109, 110. At that time then, as we learn from this tablet, the Ninth Legion, 
which came into Britain with Claudius in the year 48, and formed part of 
the forces of Agricola when he subdued the Brigantes in the year 79, was at 
Eboracum employed by Trajan, who never was in Britain, in the erection of 
public buildings." 

In the Pictorial Bible ^ at page 469 of vol. iv., is a representation of the 
triumphal arch of Trajan, at Benevento, on which is a very similar in- 
scription. It runs thus : — 




To what public building the stone found at York was affixed, cannot now 
be ascertained. Mr. Wellbeloved thinks that it may have been that gate of 
the ancient Roman station which is supposed to have stood very near the 
spot in which it was found. And this suggests an important question — ^Was 
the ancient Eboracum, or Eburacum, as Mr. Wellbeloved has it, fortified 
with a wall at that early period ? The place in which this tablet was dis- 
covered is the one which tradition has assigned as part of the site of the 
Roman Pnetorium or Palace at York. The precise spot at which it was found 
was formerly called King s Court, and still more anciently, Eonyng Garth 
(the word Konyng signifying royal or kingly); and at this point was probably 
in the time of Tn^an the grand entrance to the Imperial Palace. The 


period of the erection of the tablet is fixed by the inscription itself at the year 
of our Lord 110, or thereabouts, and shews indisputably that the Emperor 
Trajan was then acknowledged as Emperor at York. It is deserving of re- 
mark that the letters on the first line of the inscription are six inches long, 
and that they have been cut by a first-rate artist, and the grandeur and im- 
portance of the building, to wliich the tablet was once attached, may be 
judged of from the care and skill which have obviously been devoted to the 
inscription. Trajan was one of the best, and most just and lenient of the 
Eoman Emperors. May we not then, vrith some show of reason, suppose 
that this elegant tablet once graced or surmounted the entrance to the court 
yard of the palace ? The inscription is not dissimilar to that which adorns 
the famous *' Trajan column " at Rome ; and it has been weU remarked by 
one of the local journals, that time and the effects of atmospheric variations 
have contributed to tarnish the original perfection of the inscription at Rome, 
whilst the lettering of what remains to us at York, upon the newly discovered 
tablet, is as clear, and as fresh, and as perfect, as it was on the day when, 
upwards of seventeen hundred years ago, it left the hand of the talented en- 
graver, and was put up at York by the gallant Ninth Legion of imperial Rome. 
This tablet is the most ancient, as well as the most authentic, of the records 
which have ever yet been discovered of the Roman occupation of this city. It 
is a valuable discovery, inasmuch as it fixes a precise period when the Legio 
Nono Hispanica (Ninth Spanish Legion) was in York. But little is known 
of that corps. In the reign of Nero it was nearly destroyed at Camuldunum 
(Colchester), by the British forces under the celebrated Queen Boadicea. 
Tacitus informs us that it was afterwards recruited from Germany, but it 
again suffered severely in the fierce attack of the Caledonians, at the time 
when Julius Agricola was Propraetor and Legate at York. The inscription 
upon the recently discovered tablet shows pretty plainly that this legion was 
stationed at York in the time of the Emperor Trajan, and that the tablet 
itself was raised by that legion. This corps being weak in number at the 
time of the arrival in York of the Sixth Conquering Legion, it is supposed 
to have been incorporated with that legion. 

In the course of the excavations near the place where the above-mentioned 
tablet was found, the workmen turned up many Roman tiles, some of which 
bear the stamp of the Ninth Legion. The tablet and tiles are deposited in 
the Museum. In the month of March in the present year (1855), the work- 
men employed in draining operations found two stone coffins in Monkgate, 
near the bottom of Lord Mayor's Walk. 

Besides the relics of the Roman period already noticed, a great many 


fragments of monumental and other tablets, urns, pillars, sculptured stones^ 
domestic ware and other utensils, pottery, bricks, tiles, &c. have been found 
in York from time to time ; and a goodlj collection of them may be seen in 
the Yorkshire Museum. 

*' Although the Saxons had possession of York during more than three 
hundred jears," writes the Rev. Curator, in his Descriptive Account of the 
Antiquities in the Museum, " and undoubtedly added greatly to the extent of 
the Roman-British city, yet few remains of Saxon York have been discovered. 
Their domestic buildings may have been generally constructed of timber, but 
their public, and especially their ecclesiastical edifices were built of more 
durable materials. The first Christian church indeed, hastily erected by 
Edwin, in the beginning of the sixth century, was of wood ; but it very soon 
gave place to one of stone ; and about the end of the eighth century this was 
rebuilt and enlarged by Archbishop Albert, of whose magnificent structure, 
portions, as it is supposed by some, may be seen in the crypt beneath the 
choir of the present Minster. It appears from Domesday, that at the time 
of the Norman Conquest there were in York no fewer than nine parochial 
churches ; but in these, as they exist at present, no traces of Saxon work- 
manship are left The tower of another church (St. Mary, Bishophill Junior), 
not mentioned in Domesday, has been referred to the Saxon era ; but it has 
most probably been constructed by later hands, of Saxon and even of Roman 
materials. A recent breach in the city rampart, near the Railway Station, 
brought to light a portion of the fortifications of Eoferwic ; the searching eye 
of an antiquary may detect tomb-stones, capitals, and other fragments of 
Saxon work built into the walls of our mediaeval churches ; and an excavator 
may occasionally turn up a relic of Saxon times, yet the memorials of their 
long occupation of our ancient city, left by the Saxons, are far less numerous 
and important than might have been expected. 

A portion of a Saxon cross or piUar, with several rude wooden coffins, and 
some other Saxon remains, were found in excavating for the New Market or 
Parliament Street ; a curiously ornamented fragment of a stone cross was 
discovered in the excavations, preparatory to the building of St. Leonard's 
Place ; and several Saxon coffin lids have been found in other parts of York. 

This city partook largely of the vicissitudes to which the country was ex- 
posed during the period between the evacuation of Britain by the Romans, 
and the conquest of this island by the Normans. The Picts and the Scots, 
the Saxons and the Danes, each in succession erected their standards before 
its gates, and obtained possession of it, as we have shewn in the preceding 
pages of this work. Though shorn of that splendour which imperial Rome 


conferred, still York maintained, after the departure of that people, a dis- 
tinguished rank as a metropolitan city, and as the centre of commercial 
attraction. When Arthur, the most celebrated of the British monarchs be- 
fore the Conquest, had expelled the Saxons almost from the island in the 
year 531, the city of York was delivered up to him, and firom it he proceeded 
on his expedition into Scotland, with a determination to destroy that ancient 
seat of emnity from one end to another. But from this purpose he was dis- 
suaded by his spiritual guides, and having abandoned his purpose, he returned 
to York, and there with his clergy, nobility, and soldiers, celebrated the fes- 
tival of Christmas in feasting, mirth, and rejoicings. This was the first 
festival of the kind ever celebrated in Britain, and from which all those ever 
since held have taken their model. '' The latter end of December," says 
Buchanan, "was spent in mirth, jollity, drinking, and the vices that are too 
often the consequences, so that the representations of the old heathenish 
feasts, dedicated to Saturn, were here again revived. Gifts were sent mutu- 
ally from one to another, frequent invitations passed between friends, and 
domestic offenders were not punished. All this was to celebrate the Nativity 
of Christ, then, as they say, bom," 

Edwin, King of Northumbria, mado York the metropolis of his kingdom, 
and upon his conversion to Christianity, erected it into an Archiepiscopal 
See, of which he appointed Paulinus, Ethelburga his Queen's confessor, Pri- 
mate. On the death of Edwin, who was killed in battle in 633, while 
resisting an attack of the Britons, under Cadwallon, assisted by Penda, King 
of Mercia, the city suffered severely from the ravages of the confederated 
armies, who devastated it with fire and sword, and massacred the inhabitants. 
Ethelburga and Paulinus fled into Kent, and the scarcely-finished church, 
which Edwin had erected, lay neglected for some time, till it wsis restored by 
Oswald, Edwin's successor. When the kingdom of Northumbria was divided 
into two kingdoms — Deira and Bemicia — York was the capital of the former. 

Upon the union of the several kingdoms of the Heptarchy, in the reign of 
Egbert, York again became a place of importance. At this period (the 9th 
century) it was the seat, not only of commerce, but of literature, as far as 
ihey then prevailed in the country ; and the library collected by Archbishop 
Egbert, and placed in the Cathedral, ranked amongst the first in Christen- 
dom. The Malmsbury historian, speaking of this library, says, " it is the 
noblest repository, and cabinet of arts and sciences, in the whole world;" and 
Alcuin, the celebrated instructor of Charlemagne, in one of his letters to his 
royal pupil, requests that scholars may be sent from France to copy the works 
deposited here, " that the garden of letters may not be shut up in York, but 


that some of its fruits may be placed in the paradise of Tours. '**^ Manj 
copies of some of the most valuable works in this libraiy were obtained by 
Alcuin, even after he took up his residence in the court of Charlemagne ; and 
these were afterwards copied again, and dispersed through the yarious monas- 
teries in the dominions of that monarch. Thus is France in part indebted 
for her literature to the ancient citj of York ; and to a certain extent also is 
Germany, for several of the books belonging to her first Apostle, Boniface, 
were sent to him in that country by Archbishop £gbert. 

York suffered much during the 9th and 10th centuries from the incursions 
of the Danes, who spread destruction eYer3rwhere, spoiling the city, and burn- 
ing and wasting the country around it for miles. During this period many 
of the Danish chieftains found, near York, a grave, among whom was the 
brave Earl Siward. 

When the Danes fitted up a mighty fleet, and entered the Humber, in 
867, under the command of Hinguar and Hubba, their first operation was 
against York, where a sanguinary battle was fought, partly in the midst of 
the city ; when the two Saxon Kings of Northumbria, Osbert and Ella, were 
slain, and the city was reduced to a heap of ruins by the enraged barbarians, 
"who spared neither palace nor cottage, age or sex." (See pa^e 97. J 
Having been rebuilt, it was for ages the centre, and frequently the scene, of 
the struggles which were maintained between the Saxons and the Danes ; 
and when Sweyne, the Danish King, defeated Ethelred, the King of England, 
in a bloody and well-contested battle, near York, and the latter fled to Nor- 
mandy, leaving his crown and kingdom to the conqueror, it became one of 
the principal settlements of those rapacious invaders. Whilst the throne of 
England was filled by Danish Kings, their Viceroys, or Comites Narthumbriat 
took up their residence at York; whilst the Sovereigns themselves not 
nnfirequently made this city the royal residence. 

Sweyne died in 1014, and was succeeded by his son Canute, the most 
powerful monarch of his time. The well-known reproof given by this latter 
King to his fawning courtiers is so just and impressive, that its memory has 
survived through eight centuries. Some of those flatterers breaking out into 
expressions of admiration of his power and grandeur, exclaimed, that in him 
everything was possible. Upon which Canute ordered his chair to be placed 
upon the sea-shore while the tide was rising. As the waters approached, he 
commanded them with a voice of authority to retire, and to obey the lord of 
the ocean. For some time he feigned to sit in expectation of their sub- 

• Lei. Coll., i, p. 899. 

2 s 


mission, but the sea still advanced towards him, and began to wash him with 
its billows ; on which he turned to his courtiers, and said '* Behold how feeble 
and impotent is man. Power resideth in one being alone, in whose hands 
are the elements of nature, and who alone can say to the ocean — Thus far 
thou shaU go and no further, and who can level with his nod the most 
towering piles of pride and ambition.*' The chroniclers fix the locality of 
this great moral lesson at Southampton. 

When the Norwegian armada landed their forces at Biccal, they took York 
by storm, after a desperate battle fought at Fulford. On the approach of 
Harold, the last Anglo-Saxon Monarch of England, at the head of a powerful 
army, the invaders quitted the city, and took up a strong position to the east 
of York, whither they were followed by Harold, and the battle of Stamford 
Bridge ensued. (See page 104.^ In the intervals of peace which the citizens 
experienced, the city gradually recovered, and continued to flourish till the 

From the Domesday Survey we learn that at the period succeeding the 
Norman Conquest, York was of considerable size, and worthy the rank of 
being the principal city of the north. From that valuable record, as trans- 
lated by the Bev. W. Bawdwen, we extract the following : — 

<' In Eboraco dvitate (city of York) in the time of King Edward (the Con- 
fessor), besides the ward of the Archbishop, there were 6 wards : one of these 
was destroyed when the Castles were built In 6 wards there were 1418 
inhabited mansions. The Archbishop has yet a third part of one of these 
wards. In these no one, but as a burgess, was entitled to any cnstomaiy 
payments, except Merlesuain, in one house, which is below the Castle; and 
except the Canons wherever they reside, and except 4 Magistrates, to whom 
the King granted this privilege by his writ, and that for their lives ; but the 
Archbishop was entitled to all customary payments in his ward. Of all the 
above-mentioned mansions, there are now in the King's possession 391 in- 
habited, great and small, paying custom; and 400 uninhabited,'!' which do 
not yield customaiy services, but some only one penny rent, and others less; 
and 640 mansions so uninhabitable, that they pay nothing at all; and 
foreigners f hold 145 houses. 

" St. Cuthbert has one mansion, which he always had, as many say, quit 
of all custom ; but the burgesses say that it had not been quit in the time of 

• These were snch aa had no constant inhabitant tied to residence, bat such as went 
and came as they pleased. 

f Francigenae, or perhaps, non redentei coniuetudinem. 


King Edward, unless as one of the burgesses, or for this reason, he had his 
own toll,* and that of the Canons. Besides this the Bishop of Durham has, 
of the Eing*s gift, the church of All Saints, and what belonged to it; and all 
the land of Uctred, and the land of Emuin, which Hugo the Sheriff quit- 
daimed to Walcherus, Bishop of Durham, by the King's writ; and the 
burgesses who rent it saj that thej hold it under the King. The Earl of 
Morton has there fourteen mansions, and two stalls in the butchery, and the 
church of St Crux ; Osbem, the son of Boso, had these, and whatever be- 
longed to them, granted to him. Thej had been the mansions of Sonulfus, 
the priest (one), Morulfus (one), Sterrus (one), Esnarrus (one), Gamel with 
four drenches (one). Archil (five), Levingus the priest (two), Turfin (one), 
Ligilfus (one). Nigel de Monnevile has one house of a certain Monier. 
Nigel Fossart has two houses of Modera, and holds them imder the King.f 
Waldin usurped two houses of Eetel the priest for one house of Sterre. 
Hamelin has one house in the city ditch; and Waldin one house of Einulfus, 
and another of Alwin. Richard de Surdeval two houses of Turchil and 
RavechiL Nigil Fossart usurped two houses ; but it is said he restored them 
to the Bishop of Constance.^ William de Percy has fourteen mansions of 
Bemulfus, Gamelbar, Sort, Egbert, Selecolf, Algrim, Norman, Dunstan, 
Adolfus, Weleret, Ulchel, Godolent, Soneva, Osbert, and the church of St. 
Maiy. Of Earl Hugo the same William has two mansions of two bailiffs of 
Eail Harold ; but the burgesses say one of them had not been the EarFs, 
but the other had been forfeited to him. The church of St. Cuthbert the 
same William also claims of Earl Hugo, and seven small houses containing 
fiffy feet in width, besides one house of a certain person named Uctred. The 
bnigesses declare that William de Percy included one house within the Castle, 
after he had returned from Scotland. But William himself denies that he 
had had the land of this Uctred ; but he affirms ^that the house was laid to 
the Castle by Hugo, the Sheriff, the first year after its destruction.§ Hugo, 
son of Baldric, has four houses of Adulphus, Hedned, Turchil, and Gospatric, 
and twenty-nine small mansions || at a rent, and the church of St. Andrew's, 
which he bought. Robert Malet has nine houses of these men ; (viz.) Tume, 
Grim, Grimchetel, Emuin, Elsi, and another Emuin, Glunier, Halden, Ra- 
vencheL Emeis de Bumn has four houses of Grim, Alwin, Gospatric, and 

* For things bought and sold in the market f Probably in eapite, and therefore quit. 
{ Chief Jusddary of England. He was possessed of 280 manors. 

I Anno 1070. 
Ij Therefore man»Ume$ might be large inns or dwelling plaeee, perhaps fneauagia. 


the church of St. Martin; two of these mansions pay fourteen shillings. 
Gilbert Maminot has three houses of Meurdock. Berenger de Todeni has 
two houses of Gamelcarle and Alwin, and eight houses at rent A moiety of 
these is in the city ditch. Osbeme de Archis has two houses of Brun the 
priest and his mother, and twelve houses at a rent, and two houses of tlie 
Bishop of Constance. Odo Balistarius has three houses of Feme and Orme, 
and one of Elaf at a rent, and one church. ^ Richard, son of Erfast, three 
houses of Alchemont, and Gospatric and Bemulf, and the church of Holy 
Trinity. Hubert de Montcanisi, one house of Bundus. Landric, the car- 
penter, has ten houses and a half, wliich the Sheriff made over to him. 

" In the time of King Edward the yaluct: of the city to the King was 
fifty-three pounds ; now one hundred pounds by weight-t In the time of 
King Edward there were in the Archbishop's ward I 189 inhabited houses at 
a rent. At present there are 100 inhabited, great and small, besides the 
Archbishop's palace and the Canons' houses. The Archbishop hath as much 
in his ward as the King in his wards. 

"Within the geld of the city there are fourscore and four carucates of land, 
and every one of them taxed as one house in the city, and they with the 
citizens did the three works for the King.§ Of these the Archbishop has 
six carucates, which three ploughs may till. These compose the fatm 
belonging to his palace. This was not improved and let at a rent in the 
time of King Edward, but here and there cultivated by the burgesses ; it is 
the same now. Of the land described, the King's pool destroyed two new 
mills of the value of twenty shillings, and overflowed one carucate of arable, 
meadow, and garden ground. Value in King Edward's time sixteen shillings, 
now three. In Osboldeuuic (Osboldwick) there are six carucates of land be- 
longing to the Canons, where there may be three ploughs. The Canons 
have now there two ploughs and a half, and six viUanes and three bordars 
having two ploughs and a half. Likewise in Mortun (Morton) the Canons 
have four carucates of land, where they may be two ploughs ; but it is waste. 
These two villages are one mile in breadth, and one in length. In Stocthnn 
(Stockton) there are six carucates, where they may be three plou^s. They 

* This is to be understood of the annual value. 

f The ancient way of paying money by weight, opposed to the payment of the same 
de numeroy importing twenty shillings. 

} If the ward, shire, or district, meant only the close of the Cathedral, it is plain there 
were more houses in it before the Conquest than there are now, or indeed well could 
stand in the compass. 

§ Burgbote, Brigbote, and Expeditio, called trinoda neeeiHtae, 


are waste ; of these, three belong to the Canons, and three to Eaxl Alan. 
These are half a mile m length, and half a mile in breadth. In Sabura 
(Saubum) there are three carucates,* where they may be one plough and a 
half. Waste. Ealph Paganel holds it. The Canons say that they them- 
selves had it in the time of King Edward. In Heuuarde (Haworth) Orme 
had one manor of six canicates of land, where they may. be three ploughs. 
Hugo, son of Baldric, has now one vassal and one plough ; value in King 
Edward's time ten shillings, now five shillings. In the same village Walt^ 
had one manor of three canicates of land ; Richard now has it of the Earl of 
Morton ; value in King Edward's time ten shillings, now ten shillings and 
eightpence. This village is one mile long, and half a mile broad. In Fule- 
ford (Fulford) Morcar had one manor of ten carucates of land. Earl Alan 
now has it ; there may be five ploughs. There are now in the demesne two 
ploughs, and six viUanes have two ploughs there. It is in length one mile, 
and in breadth half a mile. Value in King Edward's time twenty shillings, 
now sixteen. In the circuit of the city Torfin has one carucate of land, and 
Torchil two carucates; these two ploughs may till. In Cliftune (Clifton) 
there are eighteen carucates of land subject to the tax geld or gelt; these 
nine ploughs may till ; it is now waste. Value in King Edward's time twenty 
shiUings. Of these Morcar had nine carucates of land, and one half to be 
taxed, which five ploughs may till. Earl Alan has now there two ploughs, 
and two viUanes and four boidars with one plough. In it are fifty acres of 
meadow ; of these twenty-nine belong to St. Peter, and the other to the Earl. 
Besides these the Archbishop has eight acres of meadow. This manor is 
one mile long, and one broad. Value in King Edward's time twenty shillings ; 
the same now. The Canons have eight carucates and a half; they are waste. 
In Eoudclifie (BAwcliff) there are three carucates of land to be taxed, which 
two pbttghs may till ; of these Saxford, the Deacon, had two carucates, with 
a ball (now St Peter), and the value ten shillings. And Turber had (now 
the King) one carucate with a hall ; and the value five shillings ; now both 
are waste. There are three acres of meadow there. In the whole, half a 
mile long, and as much broad. In Ouerton (Overton) there are to be taxed 
five carucates of land, which two ploughs and a half may till ; Morcar had a 
hall there. Earl Alan has now there one plough and five villanes, and three 
bordars with three ploughs, and thirty acres of meadow, and wood pasture 
one mile long, and two quarentens broad. In the whole, one mile in length, 
and half a mile in breadth ; value in King Edward's time, and now, twenty 
shillings. In Sceltun (Skelton) there are nine carucates of land to be taxed, 


which four ploughs may tiU; of these St Peter had, and has, three eamcates 
in King Edward's time; and the Talue six shillings; it is now waste. Tor- 
her held two carocates of this land, with a hall, and six oxgangs. Now one 
farmer funm eeruoriutj has it under the King ; and there are two ploughs 
and six villanes ; value in King Edward's time six shillings, now eight. Two 
carucates and six oxgangs of the same land belonging to Overton. Eail 
Alan has there one vassal with one plough. In the whole, half a mile in 
length, and half in breadth. In Mortun (Morton) there are to be taxed three 
carucates of land, which one pbugh may till. Archil held this land, and the 
value was ten shillings ; it is now waste. In Wichistun (Wigginton) there 
is to be taxed one carucate of land, which one plough may till. Saxford, the 
Deacon, held it. Now St Peter has it It was and is waste. There is 
coppice wood there. The whole length, half a mile, and the breadth ha]£ 

'' These had Soke, Sac, Toll, Thaim, and all customs, in the time of King 
Edward ; Earl Harrold, Merelesuen, Ulffenisc, Toigod Lageman, Tochi (son 
of Otra), Edwin and Morcar, upon the land of Ingold only. 

** Qamel, son of Osbert, upon Gottingham only, Copsi upon Coxwold only, 
and Cnut Of those which he forfeited he made satisfiiction to no one but 
to the King and the Earl. The Earl has no right whatever in the church 
manors ; neither the King in the manors of the Earl, excepting what relates 
to spiritualities which belong to the Archbishop, in all the land of St Peter 
at York, and St John, and St WilMd, and St Cuthbert, and the Holy 
Trinity. The King likewise hath not had any custom there, neither the 
Earl, nor any other. The King has three wa3rs by land, and a fourth by 
water. In these all forfeitures belong to the King and the Earl, whichsoever 
way they go, either through the land of the King, or of the Archbishop, or 
of the Earl. 

** The King's peace given imder his hand or seal, if it shall have been 
broken, satisfaction is to be made to the King only by twelve hundreds ; 
every himdred eight pounds. Peace given by an Earl by whomsoever bro- 
ken, satisllACtion is to be made by six hundreds ; every hundred eight pounds. 
If any one shall have been exiled according to law, no one but the King shall 
pardon him. But if an Earl or Sheriff shall have exiled any one from the 
country, they themselves may recall him, and pardon him if they will. Those 
Thanes who shall have had more than six manors pay relief of lands to the 
King only. The relief is eight pounds. But if he shall have had only six 
manors or fewer, three marks of silver shall be paid to the Sheriff for the 
relief. But the burgesses, citizens of York, do not pay relief." 


The chief entries respectmg the city of York are thus summed up by Sir 
Henry EUis,* — '* In the time of Edward the Confessor, there were six shires 
in York besides the shire of the Archbishop. One of these shires at the time 
of the Survey, had been demolished to make room for the Castles. In the 
other five shires there were 1,418 ' mansiones hospitatse.' In the shire of the 
Archbishop there were, in the time of King Edward, 180 ' mansiones hospi- 
tatiB,* so that the full number of those mansions was 1,607, besides the shire 
sacrificed to the Castles. The whole number may be presumed to have been 
1800, or thereabouts ; the Curia of the Archbishop and the houses of the 
Canons not included in this estimate. The whole number of ' Domus Hos- 
pitatee,* at the time of the Survey, may be reckoned at 1,036." 

Drake supposes that in all there were 3,000 inhabited houses in York in 
the reign of the Confessor, containing a population of 10,000 ; and allowing 
the suburbs to be as extensive as Leland represents, he says, " we may rea- 
sonably suppose above as many more inhabtants to have resided in them.**f 
Sir H. Ellis, taking his figures from Domesday itself, makes the population of 
the ichoU county 8,066 persons. If this contrast be correct, the devastation in 
Yorkshire caused by the Conquest must indeed have been terrific. As has 
been shown at page 12d, York, long the " Athens of the North,** was, at the 
period of the Conquest, as fair and beautifiil as the city of Home, and its 
buildings were as magnificent But its splendours are doomed. The citi* 
zens unfortunately refused to yield obedience to the Conqueror, and after a 
siege of six months they surrendered, and their city was razed to the ground. 
It never entirely recovered this shock. 

In 1137 York was again burnt accidentally, including the Cathedral, St 
Mary*s Abb^, St Leonardos Hospital, and forty parish Churches. From 
being the metropolis of an empire, and the chief residence of the Northum- 
biian Eii^^, York had now gradually reduced to the capital and seat of an 
Earldom ; the limits of the district under this term being for a long time 
eo-extenaive with the boundaries of the kingdom of Northumbria. 

« One of the first Parliaments mentioned in history," says Drake, " was 
held at York about the year 1160, in the reign of Heniy 11." The same 
Monarch held another Parliament here in 1171, at which William, King of 
Scotland, did homage for his kingdom. 

In the beginning of the reign of Richard I., a great massacre of the Jews 
took place here, the details of which are of the most shocking character. 
(See page Idd.) In IdSO King Henry m. with Alexander, King of Scotland, 

• Sir H. Ellis's Domeedsy, vdL iL, p. 600. , f EbonMrnm, p. 284. 


and an immense number of the nobility and gentiy of both kingdoms, kept 
Christmas at York ; and again in 1351 the citj was honoured by the same 
illustrious personages, to celebrate the marriage of the Princess Margaret, 
daughter of Henry 111., and the Scottish King. In 1201 Edward I. visited 
York, on his way to Scotland ; and in 1208 the same monarch held a Par* 
liament here, to which he summoned the King of Scotland. This was Ihe 
beginning of the wars between the two kingdoms, which raged during that 
and the following reign. Sereral Parliaments were held at York during the 
reigns of the first three Princes of the bouse of Plantagenet. In 1880 the 
unfortunate Richard m. was at York, and conferred the title of Ijo/rd Ma/ifor 
on William de Selby, who then filled that high municipal office. During the 
Wars of the Roses York experienced many calamities. Richard m. soon 
after his accession visited York, where, according to Drake, he caused him- 
self to be crowned a second time, his first coronation having taken place 
previously in Loiidon. But though the ceremonials connected with Richard's 
visit were exceedingly gorgeous, yet Mr. Davies, in his recent work on the 
City Records, has adduced evidence which goes a great way to prove that 
his own coronation was certainly not one of them. (See page 170.) In 1541 
Heniy VIII. established the Great Council of the North, at York, and directed 
its sittings to be held at the Manor House, then newly erected out of the 
ruins of St. Mary*s Abbey, which, with the rest of the monastic institutions 
of the realm, had been previously suppressed. In 1603 York was visited by 
James I. In 1604 the plague raged here to an alarming extent (See page 
216.) In the reign of Charles I. that monarch retired to York at the com- 
mencement of the commotions between him and his Parliament. In April, 
1644, the city was besieged by nearly 40,000 men of the Parliament's forces^ 
under Sir Thomas FairCu and the Earls of Manchester and Leven. During 
this siege was fought the battle of Marston Moor, on the 2nd of July, and 
the city was surrendered on honorable terms on the 11th of the same month. 
At the Restoration, Charles H. was proclaimed here amid great r^oicings. 
During the period preceding the Revolution in 1688, this city was noted for 
its opposition to the King; and in the very year of the Revolution James 11. 
took away its charter, and declared the office of Mayor to be vacant. Imme- 
diately after the Revolution the charter was restored, and the civic offices of the 
city were re-established. From this period the most noticeable occurrences 
have been the visits of illustrious personages. Towards the end of the last 
century his Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales (afterwards George IV .), and 

* For an account of this siege see page 241 of this Histoiy. 


his royal brother, the Duke of York, visited York ; and Charles James Fox, 
the Earl St Vincent, Prince Leopold, the Duke of Sussex, and the great 
Duke of Wellington, have also been here. An account of the visits of her 
present Majesty, her royal consort, and the juvenile members of the royal 
family, in the years 1885, 1848, 1840, 1850, and 1854, will be found at 
page 276 to 281 of this volume. 

TopooBAPHY. — ^In proceeding to describe York " as it is to day," the con- 
trast between it and York of the " olden time " forces itself strongly upon the 
mind, and serves to exhibit the vicissitudes to which the ajBGedrs of places as 
well as of persons are subject. But though York — ^imperial York— once the 
capital of Britain — ^the residence of Emperors and of Kings — ^has been shorn 
of some of its brightest beams ; though in remote periods it has been three 
times razed to the ground, by the Saxons, the Danes, and the Normans ; 
and though in modem times it has been deprived of its commerce by HuU, 
and of its manufactures by Leeds and other towns in the West-Riding, it is 
still an interesting and venerable city, and the See of an Archbishop. Con- 
trasting modem York with its ancient imperial dignity. Sir Thomas Wid- 
drington has written : — 

York's not so great as old York was of yore, 
Yet York it is though wasted to the core ; 
It's not that York which Shrank built of old, 
Nor yet that York which was of Boman mould ; 
York was the third time burnt, and what you see 
Are York's small ashes of antiquity. 

The City of York, the county town of Yorkshire, is situated near the centre 
of Great Britain, in one of the richest and most extensive plains or valleys 
in England, at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Foss, and at the junc- 
tion of the York and North Midland and the Great North of Enghmd 
Railways, as well as at the point where the three Hidings or districts of the 
county meet, though the city is independent of either of them. It is distant 
by the York and North MicQand (now called the North Eastern) Railway 220 
miles ; and by the Great Northem Railway 191 miles, N. N. W. of London. 
The distance from York to the foUowing places (by Railway) is as follows : —